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Senate Committee Advances Mentally Ill Inmates Bill

On March 6, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved, by voice vote, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Reauthorization and Improvement Act (S. 2304), sponsored by Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), after adopting, by unanimous consent, a substitute amendment by Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The House passed a similar measure (H.R. 3992) on January 23 (see The Source, 1/25/08).

The bill, as amended, would authorize $35 million annually for FY2009-2013 for four new grant programs, including one to provide for the treatment of female prisoners who are mentally ill. The bill also would authorize $2 million for FY2009 for the attorney general to conduct a study of the prevalence of mentally ill individuals on probation, in jail, in prison, or on parole and report its findings to Congress within 18 months of the bill’s enactment.

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