PA 17-179—HB 7090

Public Health Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SERVICES' RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING TRANSFER OF A PATIENT UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE PSYCHIATRIC SECURITY REVIEW BOARD FOR TREATMENT OR RECOVERY

SUMMARY: This act codifies existing practice by allowing the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to transfer an “acquittee” (i.e., a person found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect) from maximum security confinement to another facility (e.g., hospital or emergency department) for medical treatment. DMHAS may do this only if the acquittee requires medical treatment that either is unavailable in the maximum security setting or would pose a safety hazard due to the use of certain medical equipment or material.

Under the act, DMHAS must:

1. ensure that the acquittee's custody conditions at the facility are equivalent to those of maximum security confinement,

2. provide immediate written justification to the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB) upon the transfer, and

3. transfer the acquittee back to the maximum security setting after the medical treatment is completed.

By law, people found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect are committed by the Superior Court to PSRB's jurisdiction. At the time of commitment, DMHAS takes custody of acquittees and orders their confinement to (1) a psychiatric hospital (i.e., Connecticut Valley Hospital) or (2) the Department of Developmental Services' custody (if they have an intellectual disability). An acquittee who the court or PSRB determines requires maximum security confinement cannot be transferred unless the psychiatric hospital or DDS commissioner has the trained and equipped staff, facilities, or security to accommodate him or her.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017