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Improving Mental Health Services For Prison Inmates

Armen Hareyan's picture

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday by voice vote approved a bill (HR 3992) sponsored by Rep. Robert Scott (D-Va.) that seeks to improve services for prison inmates with mental illnesses, CQ Today reports. The legislation would reauthorize a grant program that provides treatment for inmates with mental illnesses and training for law enforcement officers who handle such inmates.

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The bill would authorize $75 million annually for the program from fiscal year 2008 to FY 2013, compared with $50 million annually from FY 2006 to FY 2009. In addition, the bill also would authorize an additional $35 million annually from FY 2008 to FY 2013 for new grant programs that focus on treatment for female inmates with mental illnesses; tests, identification and assessment of inmates with mental illnesses; and improved coordination of treatment and services for such inmates after their release.

The legislation also would require the attorney general to report on the rate of serious mental illness and homelessness among individuals in custody (Webber, CQ Today, 11/7).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.