OLR Research Report

March 20, 2012




By: Susan Price, Senior Attorney

1. How has the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB) been affected by budget cuts and early retirements? Is there any essential function that it can no longer perform due to lack of funds?

2. Your position on the board requires you to represent the views and interests of the victims affected by the crimes acquittees committed. How often do victims come to board hearings to make statements? When this happens, do you act as their advocate? Do you generally give their views more weight than your colleagues?

3. For years, PSRB's strategic plan has included a goal of improving collaboration with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and Connecticut Valley Hospital administrators. Why is this worth pursuing? What still needs to be done to reach it?

4. The governor has submitted a bill that would make PSRB a Division of DMHAS rather than the autonomous body it is now. What are the arguments for and against this change?

5. Legislation passed last year gives the public access to documents used in PSRB hearings. Has this change had any impact on the evidence introduced at hearings? How often have members of the public asked for copies of these documents and for what purpose?

6. Are there currently enough community-based services available to allow each person the board finds suitable for conditional release to be placed without delay? How many service providers have received PSRB training and how many slots are available? Do any programs have waiting lists?

7. There is an ongoing national debate about whether PSRBs (in Connecticut and other states) place so much emphasis on protecting public safety that acquittees who no longer need inpatient care are being “warehoused” in psychiatric hospitals. How do you respond to this argument?