Legislative Update on LD. 1577: "An Act to Increase the Availability of Mental Health Services"
In the coming weeks, the Legislature will hold a public hearing on LD 1577: An Act to Increase the Availability of Mental Health Services.
This bill provides that, under certain circumstances, the Commissioner of Health and Human Services or the commissioner's designee may determine that a mental health unit at a correctional facility is an appropriate institution or program for the placement of persons who have been determined to be incompetent to stand trial or not criminally responsible by reason of insanity
* Please note that this is an existing statute and the changes would be the things that are underlined in the document.
The CCSM strongly opposes this bill that criminalizes people that struggle with mental health challenges. Instead of providing treatment, they want to send these individuals to prison. Our clear message to the Legislature will be: Stop treating peers like criminals and provide them with treatment.
Think about our peers inside the hospital hearing all of this and how they have no avenue to speak up or be heard.
We need support from the community to show opposition to this bill. We need people willing to write and give testimony or write a letter to your Legislator. We suggest that you start writing now so that you are prepared for the hearing. To help you, we have attached some talking points, alternative solutions and links to webpages on how to testify at the Legislature and find your legislator. If you have questions or need help writing, please contact the CCSM office: 430-8300 or 1-877-207-5073. We have staff available to help you!
CCSM Talking Points: Click HERE
Preparing to testify at the legislature
HOW TO FIND YOUR LEGISLATOR
IN THE NEWS
There is already much publicity in the press about this bill and you can follow the links below to some of the articles, news stories and editorials, along with a joint press release the CCSM created in conjunction with Disability Rights Maine.
CCSM & DRM PRESS RELEASE
Kennebec Journal Editorial 2/4/16