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Bill to make it easier to detain mentally ill dies

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SEATTLE (AP) — A father who lost his suicidal son in a standoff with police says he’s disappointed that a bill that would have made it easier to detain mentally ill people in crisis has died at the Washington Legislature.

Doug Reuter says he hasn’t given up hope that lawmakers will change the state’s Involuntary Treatment Act by adding the failed bill to one that’s still in play.

Reuter testified that if Washington’s civil commitment act had been expanded to include people with a “persistent or acute disability,” his son might still be alive. House Bill 1451 sought to make that change but it has failed.

Mike De Felice, with the public defense team at the Civil Commitment Court, says if the bill had passed, it would have put pressure on a system that’s already bursting at the seams.

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4 comments

  • "peety"

    just wait until the next Cafe Racer or Jewish Federation. Our state legislators can explain again why we can’t lock up dangerously mentally ill BEFORE they kill

    oh well, at least the Payday loans people got their bill passed. That’s what is apparently important in Olympia.

  • The World is Ending

    A few questions. Who would determine what mentally I’ll is? Who would determine who need evaluated? if we can start detaining people indefinitely for “mental illnesses” this could end up a slippery slope, could people who disagree with the ruling administration be detained, how about cases of civil disobedience? I have no problem holding people who are a legitimate danger, however as I stated I am concerned that people who disagree with the “people in charge” could be considered a danger and held for evaluation treatment (“re-education”)

  • Sunsgirl

    Most of our mentally ill are not a danger to others. They are more of a danger to themselves. I wish this law would have passed. Generally our mentally ill have been diagnosed as such and are already in the system. This is a shame.