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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 25, 2019 10:19 AM
From: Representative Patrick J. Harkins
To: All House members
Subject: Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee
The mental health system in the United States is in shambles. The criminal justice system has been forced to pick up the slack, resulting in police departments and prisons whose resources have been stretched to the breaking point. Police officers are forced to act as case workers, putting the lives of everyone involved in danger, and our prisons are unequipped to deal with such a large number inmates with mental illnesses.

My bill takes a step towards addressing this issue by creating the Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The Committee will provide advice on policy relating to mental health and the criminal justice system. In addition, this bill creates a grant program focused on planning, implementing, and expanding initiatives related to public safety and mental health.

Few families are untouched by mental illness: approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness in a given year. We need to improve Pennsylvania’s mental health system. To that end, please join me in sponsoring this legislation to make our communities safer and healthier.

Introduced as HB1691