Representative Herod and Representative Kennedy, bill sponsors, introduced House Bill 20-1017. This bill makes several changes to state law concerning substance use disorder treatment in the criminal justice system, as discussed below.
Availability of opiate agonist and antagonists. This bill requires the Department of Corrections (DOC), private contract prisons, local jails, multijurisdictional jails, municipal jails, and the Department of Human Services (DHS) facilities to make available at least one opioid agonist and one opioid antagonist to a person in custody with an opioid use disorder throughout the duration of the person's incarceration or commitment.
Safe stations. The bill allows a person to dispose of any controlled substances at a safe station without being subject to arrest or prosecution. The person may also request assistance in gaining access to treatment for a substance use disorder. A safe station is defined as a local law enforcement office or fire station. Safe station personnel must make a reasonable effort to determine if the individual is in need of immediate medical attention and facilitate transportation to an appropriate medical facility, if necessary.
Continuity of care planning. The bill requires the DOC and county jails to ensure that continuity of care is provided to inmates prior to release. This includes scheduling appointments with the person's health provider; ensuring treatment services are available; providing post-release resources (see below); ensuring the person's Medicaid is reinstated, where applicable; and, if the person has a history of opioid use disorder, developing a medication-assisted treatment plan and providing an opioid antagonist to the person.
Post-release resources for inmates. This bill requires the executive director of the DOC to consult with the DHS, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), and local service providers to develop resources for inmates post-release that provide information to help prepare inmates for release and reintegration into their communities.
Criminal record sealing. If a person has entered into or successfully completed a substance use disorder treatment program in a case that is the subject of the petition to seal, this bill requires the courts to consider this factor favorably in determining whether to grant the petition to seal.
Contracting with local governments for criminal justice diversion programs. The bill codifies existing pilot programs. The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a pre-booking diversion program that connects a defendant with a case manager instead of the defendant being charged and booked following an arrest. The defendant is presented with a harm reduction-based approach to connect them with substance use treatment and other services. The Co-Responder Program provides funding to local governments for a behavioral health specialist and law enforcement officer team that responds to mental health-related calls and de-escalates situations. Beginning November 1, 2021, the DHS is required to provide an update regarding the current status of funding and implementation of these programs as part of its annual SMART presentation. The State Board of Human Services may promulgate rules to implement this section.
Appropriation to criminal justice diversion programs. The bill appropriates $1,150,000 from the General Fund to the DHS for the criminal justice diversion programs outlined above.