THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1594

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO CRISIS INTERVENTION.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that thousands of people in Hawaii are cited or arrested for offenses such as drinking liquor in public, loitering in public parks after hours, and camping on sidewalks, beaches, and other restricted public places each year. Most of these people suffer from issues relating to drugs, alcohol, or mental illness. Many of those cited do not appear in court, leading to bench warrants being issued for their arrests. Time and resources are expended bringing people to court, and the court system, prosecutors, and police are caught in a never-ending revolving door situation. In response to this situation, mental health service providers have been working with appropriate law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system to implement a crisis intervention program on Oahu.

The purpose of this Act is to provide individuals in need with appropriate care by establishing a crisis intervention and diversion program within the department of health to divert people in crisis from the criminal justice system to the health care system and appropriate funds to support crisis intervention efforts.

SECTION 2. Chapter 334, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"334-   Crisis intervention and diversion program. (a) There is established within the department of health a crisis intervention and diversion program that redirects individuals with mental health issues to the appropriate health care system and services and away from the criminal justice system. The program shall collaborate with law enforcement, courts, mental health providers, and the community.

(b) The department may lease or acquire a crisis center to treat and refer patients to appropriate services and providers rather than the criminal justice system."

SECTION 3. Section 334-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new definitions to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Crisis center" means a clinic or psychiatric urgent care center that offers immediate attention to people who are suffering from mental health crises and evaluates patients for placement in a mental health program within the department.

"Crisis intervention officer" means an officer who has been trained to recognize and communicate with a person suffering from a mental health crisis. Officers shall be certified by the department of health as specialized first responders for calls involving people in crisis."

SECTION 4. Section 334-59, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending its title and subsection (a) to read as follows:

"334-59 Emergency examination and hospitalization[.] or placement in a designated mental health program. (a) Initiation of proceedings. An emergency admission may be initiated as follows:

(1) If a law enforcement officer has reason to believe that a person is imminently dangerous to self or others, the officer shall call for assistance from the mental health emergency workers designated by the director[.] or a crisis intervention officer. Upon determination by the mental health emergency workers or crisis intervention officer that the person is imminently dangerous to self or others, the person shall be transported by ambulance or other suitable means[,] to a licensed psychiatric facility or a designated crisis center for further evaluation and possible emergency hospitalization. A law enforcement officer may also take into custody and transport to any facility designated by the director any person threatening or attempting suicide. The officer shall make application for the examination, observation, and diagnosis of the person in custody. The application shall state or shall be accompanied by a statement of the circumstances under which the person was taken into custody and the reasons therefor, which shall be transmitted with the person to a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or psychologist at the facility.

(2) Upon written or oral application of any licensed physician, advanced practice registered nurse, psychologist, attorney, member of the clergy, health or social service professional, or any state or county employee in the course of employment, a judge may issue an ex parte order orally, but shall reduce the order to writing by the close of the next court day following the application, stating that there is probable cause to believe the person is mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse, is imminently dangerous to self or others and in need of care or treatment, or both, giving the findings upon which the conclusion is based. The order shall direct that a law enforcement officer or other suitable individual take the person into custody and deliver the person to a designated mental health program, if subject to an assisted community treatment order issued pursuant to part VIII of this chapter, or to the nearest facility designated by the director for emergency examination and treatment, or both. The ex parte order shall be made a part of the patient's clinical record. If the application is oral, the person making the application shall reduce the application to writing and shall submit the same by noon of the next court day to the judge who issued the oral ex parte order. The written application shall be executed subject to the penalties of perjury but need not be sworn to before a notary public.

(3) Any licensed physician, advanced practice registered nurse, physician assistant, or psychologist who has examined a person and has reason to believe the person is:

(A) Mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse;

(B) Imminently dangerous to self or others; and

(C) In need of care or treatment;

may direct transportation, by ambulance or other suitable means, to a licensed psychiatric facility for further evaluation and possible emergency hospitalization. A licensed physician, an advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant may administer treatment as is medically necessary, for the person's safe transportation. A licensed psychologist may administer treatment as is psychologically necessary."

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 for the crisis intervention team program; provided that no funds shall be released unless matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis by funds from a private source.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 to certify law enforcement officers in:

(1) Mental health first aid, as managed, operated, and disseminated by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing; and

(2) The crisis intervention team model, as developed by Crisis Intervention Team International.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2023.


 


 

Report Title:

Department of Health; Crisis Intervention; Diversion; Crisis Centers; Crisis Intervention Officers; Crisis Intervention Team; Mental Health First Aid; Certifications; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes a Crisis Intervention and Diversion Program within the Department of Health to divert those with mental health issues to appropriate health care services. Defines "crisis center" and "crisis intervention officer". Authorizes a person believed to be imminently dangerous to self or others by a law enforcement officer to be assisted by a crisis intervention officer and transported to a designated crisis center. Appropriates funds for the Crisis Intervention Team Program and for the Department of Health certify law enforcement officers in mental health first aid, as disseminated by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, and the crisis intervention team model, as developed by Crisis Intervention Team International. (SD1)

 

 

 

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