Senate committee OKs involuntary commitment bill

By: AP
By: AP

Cheyenne, WY (AP) - A committee of the Wyoming Senate recommends approval of a bill to change state procedures for the involuntary hospitalization of people for mental health treatment.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Monday voted unanimously Monday to advance a bill that would do away with the current requirement of bringing people who are detained before a judge for a hearing within 72 hours.

Chairman Sen. John Schiffer, a Republican from Kaycee, says the bill is intended to make sure that people aren't held for long periods for legal reasons without getting them mental health treatment.

Representatives from the Wyoming ACLU, the Wyoming Trial Lawyers' Association and the Wyoming County Attorneys' Association all said they opposed doing away with the judicial hearings. The groups say they see potential for people to be held unconstitutionally.

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