House File 235 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1providing for a study regarding the possible
2establishment of a jail diversion program for offenders with
3a mental illness.
4BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  JAIL DIVERSION PROGRAM FOR OFFENDERS WITH
2A MENTAL ILLNESS — STUDY.
  The division of criminal and
3juvenile justice planning of the department of human rights
4shall conduct a study regarding the possible establishment
5of a jail diversion program for the purpose of reducing
6jail recidivism rates for nonviolent criminal offenders who
7suffer from mental illness. The division shall solicit input
8from the department of human services; the department of
9corrections and other members of the criminal justice system
10including judges, prosecutors, and defense counsel; specially
11trained law enforcement crisis intervention teams and crisis
12intervention response teams; and the Iowa association of
13community providers, the Iowa behavioral health association,
14and other mental health service providers including providers
15of crisis stabilization services and providers of integrated
16mental health and substance abuse inpatient, outpatient, and
17rehabilitation services.
   18The study shall consider and review social, clinical,
19housing, and welfare services currently available and services
20that should be developed to meet the needs of nonviolent
21criminal offenders who suffer from mental illness. The system
22elements addressed by the study shall also include but are not
23limited to regulatory, liability, and funding issues. The
24division shall establish the membership, scope, and duties of
25the study committee and shall also consider the feasibility
26of establishing a jail diversion pilot program. The division
27shall submit a report on the study and make recommendations to
28the governor and the general assembly by December 15, 2019.
29EXPLANATION
30The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
31the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   32This bill directs the division of criminal and juvenile
33justice planning of the department of human rights to conduct a
34study regarding the possible establishment of a jail diversion
35program for offenders with a mental illness for the purpose
-1-1of reducing jail recidivism rates for nonviolent criminal
2offenders who suffer from mental illness. The bill requires
3the division to work with interested stakeholders including
4representatives from the department of human services, the
5department of corrections and other members of the criminal
6justice system, certain specially trained law enforcement
7personnel, and mental health providers. The study shall
8consider and review social, clinical, housing, and welfare
9services and shall also consider regulatory, liability, and
10funding issues. The division is required to submit a report
11with recommendations to the governor and the general assembly
12by December 15, 2019.
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hb/rh