SECTION 1. Chapter 69 of the Acts of 2018 is hereby amended by striking out section 219 in its entirety and inserting in place thereof the following:-
Section 219. (a) There shall be a special commission to study the prevention of suicide among prisoners and correction officers in Massachusetts correctional facilities. The commission shall consist of 13 members: 1 of whom shall be the secretary of the executive office of public safety or the secretary’s designee who shall serve as chair; 1 of whom shall be the commissioner of the department of correction or the commissioner’s designee; 1 of whom shall be the commissioner of the department of public health or the commissioner’s designee; 1 of whom shall be the commissioner of the department of mental health or the commissioner’s designee; 1 of whom shall be a person appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; 1 of whom shall be a person appointed by the minority leader in the house of representatives; 1 of whom shall be a person appointed by the president of the senate; 1 of whom shall be a person appointed by the minority leader of the senate; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the president of the Massachusetts correction officers federated union or their designee; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the president of the Massachusetts Psychological Society or designee; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the president of the New England Police Benevolent Association, Inc., or designee; and 4 persons appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a representative of a legal advocacy organization that has expertise with issues related to prisons and prisoners, 1 of whom shall be a representative of a community organization or public agency that works with prisoners and their families, 1 of whom shall be a representative of an organization that specializes in suicide prevention, and 1 of whom shall be a representative of an organization that represents Massachusetts sheriffs. Each member shall serve without compensation.
(b) The commission shall review the state of suicide prevention programs in Massachusetts’ correctional facilities and develop model plans, recommend program changes, highlight budget priorities and recommend best practices that could be utilized to reduce prisoner and correction officer suicide and attempted suicide. The commission shall: (i) examine and evaluate the current jail and prison suicide prevention policies; (ii) examine and evaluate suicide prevention training for correctional facility staff; (iii) develop recommendations for improving correctional facility intake screening and bookkeeping; (iv) examine and develop recommendations for improving identification, referral, and evaluation of individual suicide risk; (v) provide recommendations for improving communication between detention facility staff and arresting or transporting officers, as well as between detention facility staff and potentially suicidal inmates; (vi) examine and develop recommendations for improving housing designated for inmates that are identified as suicidal; (vii) develop recommendations for improving observation and treatment plans for inmates identified as suicidal; (viii) provide recommendations for improving suicide identification and intervention; (ix) develop recommendations for providing mental health counseling services to correction officers that have a need for such services; (x) examine ways in which correctional facilities can reduce stress, anxiety and depression among correction officers; and (xi) examine training programs for incoming correction officers and develop recommendations for programs to include a discussion of mental preparedness.
(c) The commission may hold public hearings to assist in the collection and evaluation of data and testimony.
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