P.A. 22-133 AA Requiring the Development of a Plan Concerning the Delivery of Health Care and Mental Health Care Services to Inmates of Correctional Institutions. (S.B. 448)
This bill requires the Department of Correction (DOC) commissioner, by January 1, 2023, to develop a plan for providing health care services to inmates at DOC correctional institutions (i.e., prisons or jails under the commissioner’s jurisdiction), including mental health, substance use disorder, and dental care services. The bill lays out the methods that DOC must use when developing the plan to ensure that inmates are consulted about the availability of services.
The plan must include guidelines to implement several requirements that ensure, among other things, the following outcomes:
- there are enough mental health therapists at each correctional institution to provide mental health care services to inmates;
- these therapists prescribe psychotropic medication only under specified conditions;
- each inmate receives an initial health assessment, and when clinically indicated, an annual physical exam and an exit interview concerning a medical discharge plan;
- inmates have access to vaccines that are licensed or authorized under an emergency use authorization;
- each inmate generally receives an annual dental screening and dental care as set forth in a dental care plan;
- a medical professional interview each inmate, at entry, on their drug and alcohol use history, and correctional institutions immediately transfer inmates to an appropriate area for treatment if they are in withdrawal; and
- the York Correctional Institution provide inmates who are pregnant with prenatal visits at a frequency that is consistent with community standards.
Under the bill, by February 1, 2023, the commissioner must report to the Public Health and Judiciary committees on the plan along with recommendations for any legislation needed to implement it and an implementation timeline.
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