Institutions for the Mentally Ill; Mental Health Generally


Guardians and conservators. Requires the Commonwealth to pay the fees and costs of the proceeding to appoint a guardian or conservator if the subject of the petition is determined to be indigent. This bill adds a new section to incorporate changes approved during the 1997 Session because the section to which the 1997 amendments were drawn was repealed, effective January 1, 1998, by other legislation (see § 37.1-132 and Chapter 921, 1997 Acts of Assembly).
Patron - Melvin

Community services boards and behavioral health authorities; comprehensive state plan. Clarifies and redefines the role of community services boards (CSBs) and behavioral health authorities who are the local agencies responsible for the delivery of publicly funded mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse services. The bill clarifies that CSBs and behavioral health authorities are the single point of entry for individuals seeking such services and have the responsibility for arranging admission to and discharge from state facilities. Because local government relationships with and control over CSBs have evolved differently across the state, the bill now reflects the practice and distinguishes the three different types of community services boards as (i) "operating community services boards", (ii) "administrative policy boards" or (iii) "policy advisory board." Behavioral health authorities (BHAs) will henceforth have the same duties and responsibilities as an operating community services board. Appointments to CSBs and behavioral health authorities must consist of one-third identified consumers or family members of consumers at least one of whom shall be a consumer receiving services. One or more members of the CSB may be non-governmental service providers and no more than two elected or appointed local government officials may be members. CSBs and behavioral health authorities will be responsible for the effective and efficient use of all state-controlled funds through a performance contract. The performance contract shall (i) delineate the respective responsibilities of the Department and the CSB; (ii) specify conditions that must be met for the receipt of state-controlled funds; (iii) identify the groups of consumers to be served with state-controlled funds; (iv) beginning on July 1, 2000, contain specific consumer outcome and provider performance measures, consumer satisfaction and consumer and family member participation and involvement indicators, and state facility bed utilization targets; (v) establish a procedure for informing the CSB or BHA of alleged defaults and the consequences of default; and (vi) include reporting requirements. The Department is given explicit authority to contract with other public agencies and with private nonprofit or for-profit organizations for local services when the CSB or BHA, after remediation efforts have proven unsuccessful, remains in substantial noncompliance with the performance contract. The Department shall develop and update bienially a six-year Comprehensive State Plan for mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse services. This bill is a recommendation of the HJR 240 (1996) Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate the Future Delivery of Publicly Funded Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services.
Patron - Hall

Involuntary commitment; detention. Eliminates the 72- or 96-hour maximum extension periods for temporary detention occurring over a long holiday weekend, for example. The bill simply provides that when the maximum 48-hour period of temporary detention would expire on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the detention is to continue until the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or holiday. This bill is recommended by the Committee on District Courts.
Patron - Jones, J.C.

Fees for appointed professionals at adult involuntary commitment proceedings. Increases fees for court-appointed professionals who participate in adult involuntary commitment proceedings, e.g., special justices and district court substitute judges, from $57.50 to $86.25 for any commitment hearings; special justices and district court substitute judges, from $28.75 to $43.25 for certification hearings and orders (relating to mental retardation proceedings); witnesses and interpreters, from $25 to $43.25; and attorneys, from $50 to $75 for commitment and from $25 to 43.25 for certification proceedings.
Patron - Cantor

Involuntary detention; certification program for mental illness evaluators. Provides that any individual who is skilled in the assessment and treatment of mental illness and who provides a prescreening evaluation for persons believed to be mentally ill and in need of hospitalization must also complete a certification program approved by the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services. Such certification program includes a practice protocol as well as minimum skill and educational standards for evaluators. This is a recommendation of the Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate the Future Delivery of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (HJR 240-1996). The bill has a technical amendment.
Patron - Thomas

Substance abuse services. Changes the Governor's Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Problems to the Substance Abuse Services Council with new members and duties; establishes an Office of Substance Abuse Services within the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services with new duties; lists the components of a comprehensive program of substance abuse prevention and treatment that may be established by community services boards; and updates the language related to services for alcohol and other drug abuse problems. This bill is a recommendation of the Joint Subcommittee Studying the Future Delivery of Publicly Funded Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (HJR 240, 1996).
Patron - Christian

State agency. Authorizes the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services to transfer certain property to the Shenandoah Business Incubator & Technology Center and requires that the property be reconveyed to the Department if the Technology Center moves to a new location. The property to be transferred includes the "Gore-Cline Plot" west of I-81, and other unspecified property. The terms, including the consideration, if any, are not specified.
Patron - Wilkins

Community services boards. Amends a provision requiring employee background checks by allowing the Central Criminal Records Exchange to submit an individual's record to the executive director of the community services board or the personnel director serving the community services board, rather than to the executive director only.
Patron - Lucas

Community services boards; prescreening. Provides that a prescreening report for persons who are alleged to be mentally ill and in need of voluntary or involuntary commitment may be done by the community services board of the jurisdiction where the person is located, if it is impossible or impractical to obtain one from the jurisdiction where the person resides.
Patron - Mims

Community services boards. Provides that, prior to making any appointment to the board, the appointing authority must disclose and make available to the public the names of those persons being considered for appointment and also make information on the candidates available to the public, if such information is available to the appointing authority. Anyone who is an employee or board member of any organization which receives funding from any CSB will not be eligible to be appointed to the board.
Patron - Newman

Mental health; involuntary temporary detention. Clarifies that any responsible person may seek an involuntary temporary detention order of a person believed to be mentally ill and in need of hospitalization. The local community services board must still perform an in-person evaluation of such person. The bill also states that the magistrate, in making his decision concerning a temporary detention order, shall consider any recommendation from a physician or clinical psychologist treating the person, if such evidence is readily available.
Patron - Newman

Carried Over

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission. Repeals the Commission.
Patron - Landes

Mandatory outpatient treatment. Establishes a program of mandatory outpatient treatment in no more than three jurisdictions determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services to have adequate and appropriate resources for such a program. Authorizes mandatory outpatient treatment only for persons previously hospitalized due to noncompliance with prescribed psychiatric treatment. Requires that a specific written treatment plan be prepared by the community services board which gives consideration to the treatment preferences of the individual and explicitly bars the forcible administration of medication. Authorizes law-enforcement personnel to transport the individual to a treatment facility for persuasion and evaluation by a treatment provider only when the individual has substantially failed to comply with the treatment plan without good cause, and only for a three-hour period, including transportation time. Limits the duration of the court order to 180 days or less, and provides the person with procedural protections, including the right to an adversary hearing, the right to counsel, the right to an appeal, and the right to a jury trial on appeal. The bill's provisions expire on July 1, 2000.
Patron - Weatherholtz

Civil commitment of sexually violent predators. Authorizes the civil commitment of persons whose mental abnormalities render them so likely to commit sexually violent offenses that they constitute a threat to the health and safety of others. Establishes a procedure authorizing civil commitment of sexually violent offenders following review of the case by a Commitment Review Committee (CRC) (members appointed from DOC, DMHMRSAS and A.G.). Sexually violent offenders are persons convicted of or found to be unrestorably incompetent to stand trial upon being charged with rape, forcible sodomy, object penetration or aggravated sexual battery against a minor, who suffer from an abnormality or disorder which makes them likely to reoffend. DOC will flag inmates who must be assessed before release. The assessments will be conducted by a licensed psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist. Conditional release (outpatient treatment and monitoring) may be recommended in lieu of commitment. The A.G.'s office will review all unrestorably incompetent defendants charged with a sexually violent offense and all CRC recommendations. Based upon his review of the person's institutional history, criminal record and other relevant factors, the A.G. may file a petition seeking civil commitment in the circuit court. The circuit court will first conduct a probable cause hearing (findings: convicted of/charged with, but incompetent, sexually violent offense plus likelihood of recidivism). At trial on the petition, accused has a right to counsel and experts, and the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. If committed, the person is held in a DMHMRSAS facility for "control, care and treatment" until he is determined to be safe to be at large. All committed predators are to be segregated from other patients. Hearings to review the commitment are to be held annually for five years and biennially thereafter, or upon petition of the Commissioner of DMHMRSAS at any time.
Patron - Forbes