Saturday, March 31, 2012

Inpatient Evaluations: Why These Matter to Robertson County

During the General Assembly’s Session, the Tennessee County Services Association (TCSA) keeps members up to date on the bills meandering through the halls of Legislative Plaza in their “REPORT.” In a recent TCSA REPORT, the following item was discussed.  
Inpatient evaluations: House Finance Subcommittee deferred action on SB2826/HB2962 (Ketron, Womick) until April 4. As amended in House Judiciary, the bill requires a court-ordered inpatient evaluation to determine the mental health capacity of an individual charged with a misdemeanor to be completed within 30 days of admission to the facility. While the Department of Mental Health says that the current average is 21 days, some counties have reported that the process can take much longer than 30 days, greatly increasing a local government’s costs. Approved by Senate Judiciary, the bill is awaiting a hearing on the Senate Floor.
Robertson County should be counted amongst the counties that have reported that the process can take much longer. Robertson County has had this arise, and it is quite costly.
It is reflective of the State sending much more back to the local municipalities and governments – unfunded. I hope that ourrepresentatives take action to ensure that this happen to us again.