Governor signs post-release mental health treatment bill

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Thursday signed into law a bill that will provide extra time for offenders to secure mental health treatment upon their release from the Indiana Department of Correction.

Senate Bill 63, which passed both chambers without amendment or a vote in opposition, would prevent inmates who need mental health services from being put on the street with nowhere to go if a spot for them in a treatment facility or with a family member is unavailable at the time.

The bill permits an offender to remain in the DOC for up to two weeks after their release date if a medical reason exists and the stay is needed to find a new housing or treatment setting. It also requires that inmates must consent to the extension or a court order must be issued.

According to the DOC, such occurrences happen in “very limited scenarios.” But the department requested legislation on the matter, prompting Republican Sen. Sue Glick of LaGrange to author the bill.

In addition to SB 63, Holcomb has signed 20 other bills into law.

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