Florida Senate - 2020 SB 464 By Senator Wright 14-00444B-20 2020464__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to certain defendants with mental 3 illness; amending s. 394.658, F.S.; exempting certain 4 fiscally constrained counties from local match 5 requirements for specified grants; amending s. 6 916.105, F.S.; providing legislative intent; creating 7 s. 916.135, F.S.; defining the terms “misdemeanor 8 court” and “misdemeanor defendant”; encouraging 9 communities to apply for specified grants to establish 10 misdemeanor mental health jail diversion programs; 11 outlining a suggested process for such programs; 12 authorizing the court to refer a misdemeanor defendant 13 charged with a misdemeanor crime for certain 14 evaluation or assessment if a party or the court 15 raises a concern regarding the misdemeanor defendant’s 16 competency to proceed due to a mental disorder; 17 requiring the tolling of speedy trial periods and the 18 following of certain provisions if a professional 19 certificate is issued; authorizing the court to hold 20 an evidentiary hearing to make a certain determination 21 by clear and convincing evidence; authorizing the 22 court to execute certain orders to require the 23 misdemeanor defendant to complete a mental health 24 assessment under certain circumstances; authorizing 25 the state attorney to consider dismissal of the 26 charges upon a misdemeanor defendant’s successful 27 completion of all treatment recommendations from a 28 mental health assessment; authorizing the court to 29 exhaust therapeutic intervention before a misdemeanor 30 defendant is returned to jail; providing an effective 31 date. 32 33 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 34 35 Section 1. Subsection (2) of section 394.658, Florida 36 Statutes, is amended to read: 37 394.658 Criminal Justice, Mental Health, and Substance 38 Abuse Reinvestment Grant Program requirements.— 39 (2)(a) As used in this subsection, the term “available 40 resources” includes in-kind contributions from participating 41 counties. 42 (b) A 1-year planning grant may not be awarded unless the 43 applicant county makes available resources in an amount equal to 44 the total amount of the grant. A planning grant may not be used 45 to supplant funding for existing programs. For fiscally 46 constrained counties, the available resources may be at 50 47 percent of the total amount of the grant, except that fiscally 48 constrained counties that are awarded reinvestment grants to 49 establish programs to divert misdemeanor defendants with mental 50 disorders from jails to community-based treatment pursuant to s. 51 916.135 may not be required to provide local matching funds. 52 (c) A 3-year implementation or expansion grant may not be 53 awarded unless the applicant county or consortium of counties 54 makes available resources equal to the total amount of the 55 grant. For fiscally constrained counties, the available 56 resources may be at 50 percent of the total amount of the grant, 57 except that fiscally constrained counties that are awarded 58 reinvestment grants to establish programs to divert misdemeanor 59 defendants with mental disorders from jails to community-based 60 treatment pursuant to s. 916.135 may not be required to provide 61 local matching funds. This match shall be used for expansion of 62 services and may not supplant existing funds for services. An 63 implementation or expansion grant must support the 64 implementation of new services or the expansion of services and 65 may not be used to supplant existing services. 66 Section 2. Present subsection (4) of section 916.105, 67 Florida Statutes, is renumbered as subsection (5), and a new 68 subsection (4) and subsections (6) and (7) are added to that 69 section, to read: 70 916.105 Legislative intent.— 71 (4) It is the intent of the Legislature that a defendant 72 who is charged with a misdemeanor or an ordinance violation and 73 who has a mental disorder, intellectual disability, or autism be 74 evaluated and provided services in a community setting. 75 (6) It is the intent of the Legislature that law 76 enforcement agencies in this state provide law enforcement 77 officers with crisis intervention team training. 78 (7) It is the intent of the Legislature that all 79 communities in this state be encouraged to apply for Criminal 80 Justice, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Reinvestment Grants 81 pursuant to s. 394.656 to establish programs for defendants who 82 are charged with misdemeanors or ordinance violations and who 83 have mental disorders to divert these persons from jails to 84 community-based treatment to increase public safety, improve the 85 accessibility of treatment services, and avert increased 86 spending on criminal justice. 87 Section 3. Section 916.135, Florida Statutes, is created to 88 read: 89 916.135 Misdemeanor mental health diversion and competency 90 program.— 91 (1) As used in this section, the term: 92 (a) “Misdemeanor court” means the county court or any court 93 presiding over misdemeanors or ordinance violations under the 94 laws of this state or any of its political subdivisions. 95 (b) “Misdemeanor defendant” means an adult who has been 96 charged by law enforcement or the state attorney with a 97 misdemeanor offense or an ordinance violation under the laws of 98 this state or any of its political subdivisions. 99 (2) Communities desiring to establish programs to divert 100 clinically appropriate misdemeanor defendants from jails to 101 treatment are encouraged to apply for Criminal Justice, Mental 102 Health, and Substance Abuse Reinvestment Grants pursuant to s. 103 394.656 for the purpose of obtaining funds to plan, implement, 104 or expand such programs. This section provides a model process 105 for diverting such misdemeanor defendants to treatment, but this 106 process may be modified according to each community’s particular 107 resources. Communities that obtain grants pursuant to s. 394.658 108 must adhere to the processes in this section to the extent that 109 local resources are available to do so. 110 (3) Within 24 hours after a misdemeanor defendant is booked 111 into a jail, the jail’s corrections or medical staff may screen 112 the misdemeanor defendant using a standardized validated mental 113 health screening instrument to determine if there is an 114 indication of a mental disorder. If there is an indication of a 115 mental disorder, the misdemeanor defendant may be promptly 116 evaluated for involuntary commitment under the Baker Act by a 117 qualified mental health professional. In conducting this 118 evaluation, the qualified mental health professional may 119 evaluate the misdemeanor defendant as though he or she were at 120 liberty in the community and may not rely on the person’s 121 incarcerated status to defeat a finding of imminent danger under 122 the Baker Act criteria. 123 (a) If the evaluation demonstrates that the misdemeanor 124 defendant meets the criteria for involuntary examination under 125 the Baker Act, the mental health professional may issue a 126 professional certificate referring the misdemeanor defendant to 127 a qualified crisis stabilization unit. 128 (b) Upon the issuance of a professional certificate, the 129 misdemeanor defendant must be transported within 72 hours to a 130 qualified crisis stabilization unit for further evaluation under 131 the Baker Act pursuant to the professional certificate. Such 132 transport may be made with a hold for jail custody notation so 133 that the qualified crisis stabilization unit may only release 134 the misdemeanor defendant back to jail custody. Alternatively, 135 the misdemeanor court may request on its transport order that 136 the misdemeanor defendant be transported back to appear before 137 the misdemeanor court, depending upon the outcome of the 138 evaluation at the qualified crisis stabilization unit and the 139 misdemeanor court’s availability of other resources and 140 diversion programs. 141 (c) Once at the designated receiving facility, the 142 misdemeanor defendant may be assessed and evaluated to determine 143 whether he or she meets the criteria for involuntary commitment 144 or involuntary outpatient treatment under the Baker Act. If 145 either set of criteria is met, the crisis stabilization unit 146 staff or staff at the local mental health treatment center may 147 forward to the misdemeanor court a discharge plan or an 148 outpatient treatment plan, as appropriate, as soon as the plan 149 is developed. If the misdemeanor defendant is found not to meet 150 either set of criteria, the qualified crisis stabilization unit 151 staff or staff at the local mental health treatment center may 152 issue an outpatient treatment plan and forward it promptly to 153 the misdemeanor court, or may notify the misdemeanor court that 154 no treatment is necessary. 155 (d) Upon receipt of a discharge plan or an outpatient 156 treatment plan, the misdemeanor court may consider releasing the 157 misdemeanor defendant on his or her own recognizance on the 158 condition that he or she comply fully with the discharge plan or 159 outpatient treatment plan. 160 (e) If no professional certificate is issued under 161 paragraph (a), but the misdemeanor defendant has been found to 162 have a mental disorder, the misdemeanor court must order that 163 the misdemeanor defendant be assessed for outpatient treatment. 164 This assessment may be completed by a local mental health 165 treatment center. This assessment may be completed by jail 166 medical staff, at the jail via tele-assessment by the local 167 mental health treatment center, by transport of the misdemeanor 168 defendant to and from the local mental health treatment center 169 by the sheriff or jail authorities, or by release of the 170 misdemeanor defendant on his or her own recognizance on the 171 conditions that the assessment be completed at the local mental 172 health treatment center within 48 hours after his or her release 173 and that all treatment recommendations must be followed. If the 174 assessment results in an outpatient treatment plan, and the 175 misdemeanor defendant has not already been released, the 176 misdemeanor defendant may be released on his or her own 177 recognizance on the condition that all treatment recommendations 178 must be followed. 179 (f) If the misdemeanor defendant is released from the 180 custody of the jail on pretrial release at any point before 181 completion of the process in this section, evaluation or 182 assessment of the misdemeanor defendant under this section by a 183 qualified mental health professional may be initiated at any 184 time by order of the misdemeanor court at the request of either 185 party or on the misdemeanor court’s own motion. If this process 186 results in the creation of a discharge plan by a qualified 187 crisis stabilization unit or an outpatient treatment plan by the 188 local mental health treatment center, the misdemeanor court may 189 set as a condition of the misdemeanor defendant’s continued 190 pretrial release compliance with all terms of the discharge plan 191 or outpatient treatment plan. 192 (4)(a)1. At any stage of the criminal proceedings, if a 193 party or the misdemeanor court raises a concern regarding a 194 misdemeanor defendant’s competency to proceed due to a mental 195 disorder, the misdemeanor court may appoint a qualified mental 196 health professional to evaluate the misdemeanor defendant for 197 issuance of a professional certificate under the Baker Act. If 198 the jail has agreed to permit its medical staff to be used for 199 this purpose, the misdemeanor court may order jail medical staff 200 to conduct this evaluation. 201 2. If a professional certificate is issued, the speedy 202 trial period is tolled immediately until the misdemeanor court 203 finds the misdemeanor defendant either to have completed all 204 treatment that has been mandated under the Baker Act or to no 205 longer be subject to any mandatory treatment under the Baker 206 Act, and the parties may follow the procedures in paragraph 207 (3)(b), adjusting such procedures according to the 208 jurisdiction’s available resources and preferred procedures. 209 (b) If the qualified mental health professional finds that 210 the misdemeanor defendant does not meet the criteria for 211 issuance of a professional certificate under the Baker Act, then 212 the professional or another qualified community-based mental 213 health professional may evaluate the misdemeanor defendant 214 regarding the criteria in this paragraph, and may promptly issue 215 a report to the misdemeanor court regarding the evaluation. 216 Following issuance of the report, the misdemeanor court may 217 promptly hold an evidentiary hearing to determine whether clear 218 and convincing evidence exists to conclude that the misdemeanor 219 defendant meets any one or more of the following criteria: 220 1. The misdemeanor defendant is manifestly incapable of 221 surviving alone or without the help of willing, able, and 222 responsible family or friends, including available alternative 223 services, and without treatment the misdemeanor defendant is 224 likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or 225 herself and such neglect or refusal poses a real and present 226 threat of substantial harm to the misdemeanor defendant’s well 227 being. 228 2. There is a substantial likelihood that in the near 229 future the misdemeanor defendant will inflict serious harm on 230 himself or herself or another person, as evidenced by recent 231 behavior, actions, or omissions causing, attempting, or 232 threatening such harm. Such harm includes, but is not limited 233 to, significant property damage. 234 3. There is a substantial likelihood that a mental disorder 235 played a central role in the behavior leading to the misdemeanor 236 defendant’s current arrest or there is a substantial likelihood 237 that a mental disorder will lead to repeated future arrests for 238 criminal behavior if the misdemeanor defendant does not receive 239 treatment. 240 (c) If the misdemeanor court concludes that any of the 241 criteria in paragraph (b) are met, it must immediately enter an 242 order tolling the speedy trial period in the case and requiring 243 the misdemeanor defendant to appear within 48 hours at the 244 nearest local mental health treatment center to submit to a full 245 mental health assessment. If the misdemeanor defendant is in 246 jail custody, the misdemeanor court may execute an order 247 directing the sheriff or jail authorities to transport the 248 misdemeanor defendant to and from the local mental health 249 treatment center for purposes of having the assessment 250 completed. Alternatively, a tele-assessment may be completed at 251 the jail by the local mental health treatment center, or the 252 misdemeanor court may release the misdemeanor defendant on his 253 or her own recognizance on the condition that he or she report 254 for the assessment within 48 hours after release. 255 (d) The results of the assessment may immediately be 256 relayed to the misdemeanor court, which may provide the results 257 to counsel for the state and defense. The misdemeanor court may 258 then enter an order setting or amending the conditions of the 259 misdemeanor defendant’s pretrial release to compel the 260 misdemeanor defendant to comply with all recommendations for 261 treatment from the assessment. The misdemeanor defendant must be 262 advised in the order that failure to comply with the order may 263 result in the issuance of a warrant revoking the misdemeanor 264 defendant’s pretrial release and directing the sheriff to arrest 265 and return the misdemeanor defendant to the jail. 266 (e) If the misdemeanor court concludes that none of the 267 criteria in paragraph (b) are met, the misdemeanor defendant may 268 elect to pursue a traditional competency evaluation pursuant to 269 Rule 3.210, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, or may invoke 270 any other rights or procedures available in misdemeanor and 271 ordinance violation cases. 272 (5) Upon the misdemeanor defendant’s successful completion 273 of all treatment recommendations from any mental health 274 evaluation or assessment completed pursuant to this section, the 275 state attorney may consider dismissal of the charges. If 276 dismissal is deemed inappropriate by the state attorney, the 277 parties may consider referral of the misdemeanor defendant’s 278 case to mental health court or another available mental health 279 diversion program. Alternatively, the misdemeanor defendant may 280 avail himself or herself of the Florida Rules of Criminal 281 Procedure to contest the misdemeanor charges. 282 (6) If the misdemeanor defendant fails to comply with any 283 aspect of his or her discharge or outpatient treatment plan 284 under this section, the misdemeanor court may exhaust 285 therapeutic interventions aimed at improving compliance before 286 considering returning the misdemeanor defendant to the jail. 287 Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.