Bill to assess an individual for treatment before incarceration moves forward

Many Kentuckians who enter the state’s justice system struggle with behavioral health issues and/or substance use disorder. And many need treatment over incarceration.

Senate Bill 90, sponsored by Kentucky Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Whitney Westerfield, seeks to ensure the needs of an individual are assessed upon their arrest to determine the best course of action. The bill would start a pilot program in 10 Kentucky counties to require a mental and/or behavioral health assessment early on in the process when an individual is charged with a Class D felony.

Senate President Robert Stivers said the concept has been in the works for more than two and a half years with groups from all sides and said the bill is set up to ensure Kentucky sees lower recidivism, better workforce participation, and successful recovery.

Senate Bill 90 passed the Senate with a 24-7 vote and now moves to the House for consideration in committee.

Watch an interview with Sen. Whitney Westerfield about the legislation on The Bottom Line here.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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