On January 23, the House passed, by voice vote, a bill (H.R. 3992) to expand treatment of mentally ill inmates. The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill on November 7 (see The Source, 11/9/07).
Sponsored by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Reauthorization and Improvement Act of 2008 would authorize $75 million per year from FY2008-2013 for treatment of mentally ill inmates. The program’s current authorization (P.L. 108-414) provides $50 million per year from FY2006-2009. The bill also would authorize $5 million per year from FY2008-2014 in grants to state and local governments or tribal organizations to provide mentally ill female offenders with mental health treatment and intensive services to address substance abuse, psychological and physical abuse, housing, employment, and other medical needs. The grants also could be used to provide family support services for mentally ill female inmates with children, and related mental health services for the children of such inmates.