The Judiciary Committee held a hearing this week on another bill worth watching. While not focusing exclusively on registered citizens, LB964 does use the fear of the “dangerous sex offender” as a selling point.
Mental health professionals would have the same authority as law enforcement to place people in emergency protective custody under a bill heard by the Judiciary Committee Feb. 14.LB964, introduced by Omaha Sen. Mike McDonnell, a mental health professional could take a mentally ill and dangerous person or a dangerous sex offender into emergency protective custody until commitment proceedings could be initiated if he or she believes the person may cause harm.McDonnell said the bill would help avoid the criminalization of mental illness and allow for a smarter, more responsive solution to an already emotional situation.
The bill specifies that those taken into emergency protective custody should be taken to an appropriate medical facility. However, “dangerous sex offenders” are treated differently.
(2)(a) A person taken into emergency protective custody under this section shall be admitted to an appropriate and available medical facility unless such person has a prior conviction for a sex offense listed in section 29-4003.(b) A person taken into emergency protective custody under this section who has a prior conviction for a sex offense listed in section 29-4003 shall be admitted to a jail or Department of Correctional Services facility unless a medical or psychiatric emergency exists for which treatment at a medical facility is required.
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