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A06058 Summary:

COSPNSRRosenthal L, Weprin, Burdick, Ardila, Epstein, Taylor, Forrest
Amd §§71-a & 78, Cor L
Requires mental health services for incarcerated individuals with mental health issues related to the trauma of incarceration upon reentry and reintegration into society upon release.
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A06058 Actions:

03/31/2023referred to correction
05/25/2023amend (t) and recommit to correction
05/25/2023print number 6058a
01/03/2024referred to correction
04/30/2024amend and recommit to correction
04/30/2024print number 6058b
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A06058 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Solages
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to requiring mental health services for incarcerated individuals with mental health issues related to the trauma of incarceration   PURPOSE: To require mental health services for incarcerated individuals with post-traumatic prison disorder.   SUMMARY: Section 1. Names the act. Section 2. Amends section 71-a of the correction law, as amended by chapter 322 of the laws of 2021. Section 3. Amends Section 78 of the correction law, as added by section 81-b of part WWW of chapter 59 of the laws of 2017. Section 4. Requires the department of corrections and community super- vision to submit a one-time report. Section 5. Sets the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a stress-sensitive disorder that can lead to significant morbidity and impairment. It is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions resulting from direct or indi- rect exposure to life-threatening events, serious injury, or sexual assault. PTSD is identified by four key symptoms: (1) persistent intru- sive thoughts or a re-experiencing of the event; (2) avoidance of stimu- li associated with the event; (3) negative cognitions and mood such as emotional numbing and detachment from others; and (4) changes in arousal or reactivity such as hypervigilance, irritability, exaggerated startle response, or self-destructive reckless behavior. Incarcerated individuals may develop severe trauma, hindering their ability to successfully re-enter society and undergo rehabilitation. This trauma can create barriers to recovery. However, by providing essential mental health screening and therapy to those experiencing post-traumatic prison disorder, individuals can increase their chances of rebuilding productive and self-sufficient lives. This bill adds mental health treatment to include post-traumatic prison disorder within an incarcerated individual's transitional accountability plan.   RACIAL JUSTICE IMPACT: Extensive evidence demonstrates unequal incarceration rates based on race and ethnicity. According to nationwide arrest data and trends, "Black individuals are 3.5 times more likely to be incarcerated in jail and nearly five times more likely to be incarcerated in prison nation- wide" than their white counterparts. Despite people of color being more frequently involved in the criminal legal system, studies indicate that they are less likely to be appropriately recognized as having a mental health issue and are also less likely to receive adequate treatment while incarcerated. The U.S. surgeon general's report on mental health indicates that people of color face greater barriers to accessing mental health services, are less likely to receive necessary care, and are more likely to receive substandard treatment within community mental health care than white individuals   1. With this bill, mental health reentry services will be required in an incarcerated individual's transitional accountability plan which will include services such as mental health and trauma screenings, behavioral health screenings, and clinical inter- vention for post-traumatic prison disorder.   GENDER JUSTICE IMPACT: The Urban Institute conducted a study in 2020 highlighting the urgent need for better services and increased awareness for women within the prison system. The study found that incarcerated women had a lifetime prevalence of PTSD of 53 percent, compared to 10 percent in the general population, Additionally, women are more likely than men to have experi- enced violence and/or sexual victimization before being incarcerated, and this sexual violence often continues in the prison system. Research cited in the study indicated that although women only accounted for 7 percent of the incarcerated population in the US between 2009 and 2011, they represented 22 percent of the victims of assault committed by other inmates, and 33 percent of the assaults committed by facility staff in state and federal prisons   2. Transgender individuals are disproportionately affected by discrimi- nation and trauma during their incarceration. According to a study conducted by the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections at the University of California, Irvine, transgender prisoners are 13 times more likely to experience sexual assault compared to other prisoners, resulting in a higher likelihood of developing severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Additional studies have shown that the prevalence of PTSD among trans- gender individuals ranges from 18% to 61%, which is significantly higher than the estimated 6.8% in the U.S. general adult population. Overall, transgender individuals report greater severity and frequency of emotional numbing, behavioral avoidance, and physiological arousal in comparison to non-transgender individuals   3.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2022: A10703; referred to correction.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: TBD.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized to be made and completed on or before such effective date.   1 NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/ July-2019/Racial-Disparities-in-Mental-Health-and-Criminal-Justice   2 Felony Murder Elimination Project https://www.endfmrnow.org/trauma- and-women-in- prison :~:text=The%201ifetime%20prevalence%20of%2OPTSD. percent%20in%20the%20general%2Opopulation.   3 PMC PubMed Central https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4981566/
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