Colorado Rights Blog

SB18-263: Pilot Program Court Approval Treatment Medications In Jails

Criminal Legal Reform
Bill Number: SB18-263
Year: 2018
ACLU Position: Oppose
Sponsors: J. Singer / L. Landgraf /B. Martinez Humenik


The bill creates a pilot program in the department of human services (department) to determine and, if appropriate, establish the safety and effectiveness of allowing a licensed psychiatrist to petition the court for authority to administer medications in a jail over the objection of a respondent. The advisory board to the department (advisory board) shall approve any applying jail for participation in the pilot program if it has established a contract with a facility designated by the department and also meets the minimum criteria established in the bill. Prior to approving a jail to participate in the pilot program, the advisory board shall seek input from a membership association that represents defense attorneys with experience working with respondents with mental health issues. The advisory board shall only authorize a maximum of 5 jails to participate in the pilot program. The pilot program will be monitored by the office of behavioral health.

The office of behavioral health and the sheriff or appropriate law enforcement for a jail applying to participate in the pilot program shall collaboratively develop requirements for a participating jail. Requirements for information and affirmations are to be included in the petition to the court. The department is required to report on the pilot program on or before December 31, 2021.

The pilot program is repealed, effective September 1, 2022.

Language is clarified concerning hearings and jurisdiction in cases brought to the court for mental health proceedings, including involuntary administration of medications and certifications. If such a case is presented to a jury, the jury shall only hear evidence on the issue of whether the person has a mental health disorder and, as a result of such mental health disorder, is a danger to others or to himself or herself or is gravely disabled.

Current Status:

House Committee on Judiciary Postpone Indefinitely (05/08/2018)
Introduced In House - Assigned to Judiciary (05-07-18)
Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments (05-03-18)
Senate Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Committee (05-02-18)
Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Refer Amended to Senate Committee of the Whole (04-30-18)
Introduced In Senate - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs (04-20-18)

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