Criminal Law

April 9, 2015 | Category: Criminal

The House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee resumed consideration of SB 551, establishing a crime fighting pilot project in Marion, Lake, and Allen counties.  Sponsor Rep. David Frizzell presented an amendment intended to address the Committee’s concerns about oversight of expenditures of the $600,000 to be appropriated in another bill to fund the pilot.  Rep. Frizzell said that the amendment would place oversight and fund distribution responsibility with the Criminal Justice Institute, and would specify that the funds were to be transferred to the chief of police of the largest city in each pilot county.  The Committee noted that the chief of police distribution scheme could likely generate controversy in Lake County, which has a number of cities interested in participating in the pilot. It was also noted that there was no provision for any funds for CJI to administer the pilot. Lack of specificity about permissible uses of pilot funds was also raised in Committee. Committee Chair Rep. Frye decided it would be better to hold the bill so that Rep. Frizzell could consult with CJI and then work with Chairman Frye to get an acceptable final version in the two remaining days before the bill has to receive a Committee vote.  The bill was held on that understanding.

The Senate Health and Provider Services Committee heard HB 1269 on mental health matters sponsored by Sen. Patricia Miller and Sen. Crider. The bill addresses a number of mental health issues including: (1) authorizing the DOC, county or health navigator to serve as a representative of inmates for the purpose of applying for Medicaid eligibility, (2) requiring the DOC, county or health navigator to assist inmates to apply for Medicaid and to secure treatment services upon release or discharge from incarceration, (3) authorizing a community mental health center to assist DOC and jail offenders to apply for Medicaid, (4) establishing that a person found to be Medicaid eligible who is incarcerated in DOC or a jail shall have their Medicaid participation suspended for a period not to exceed three years before participation is terminated unless the individual is receiving immediate medical attention, and (5) requiring a person who is arrested and taken into custody to be assessed, subject to available funding, by a qualified and licensed mental health or addictions professional or a provider certified or licensed by DMHA to determine if the person has a mental illness or substance addiction, establishing required reporting of assessment results and providing for re-assessments until release. Eight amendments were adopted, including the incorporation of language from SB 212 on inmates and Medicaid coverage, and reducing the suspension period for Medicaid coverage from three years to one year during incarceration. The amended bill passed 8-0.

The Senate Health and Provider Services Committee heard HB 1448 pertaining to mental health drugs and coverage sponsored by Sen. Patricia Miller and Sen. Grooms. Author Rep. Davisson summarized the bill as establishing Medicaid coverage for in-patient substance abuse detoxification services and authorizing the prescription of nonaddicting medication assisted treatment for the treatment of substance abuse without prior Medicaid authorization. The bill also provides for the dissemination of information or training to judges by the Indiana Judicial Center, prosecutors by the Prosecuting Attorneys Council, and public defenders by the Public Defenders Council on diversion programs or other probationary programs available for individuals with an addictive disorder, include medication assisted treatment within these programs. An amendment was adopted to resolve a conflict in the bill with SB 464 pertaining to the training of criminal justice partners on addiction treatment resources. Testimony in support of the bill was heard from Mental Health America of Indiana and the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council. The amended bill passed 7-0.

The Senate Health and Provider Services Committee heard HB 1449 authorizing opioid treatment programs in community mental health centers sponsored by Sen. Patricia Miller and Sen. Grooms. Sen. Hershman introduced an amendment adding language from SB 439 and SB 464 into the bill placing limitations on Medicaid reimbursement for Suboxone and similar drugs if prescribed for the treatment of pain, and authorizing Medicaid reimbursement of Suboxone for substance abuse treatment in excess of six months under certain conditions with prior authorization. The amended bill passed 7-0.