SECTION 1. Section 15 of chapter 123 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting before the words “(a) Whenever”, in line 1, the following words:-
For the purposes of this section, “mental illness” shall mean a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory which grossly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life, but shall not include intellectual or developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury or psychiatric or behavioral disorders or symptoms due to another medical condition as provided in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association.
SECTION 2. Said section 15 of said chapter 123, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out subsection (f) and inserting in place thereof the following subsections:-
(f) After a finding of guilty on a felony criminal charge that requires imprisonment, and prior to sentencing, the court may, upon a motion by the defendant and where warranted by the evidence, order a psychiatric or other clinical examination to be completed by a qualified physician or qualified psychologist designated by the department, to determine if the defendant should receive a finding of guilty but with a mental illness. Such period of observation or examination shall not exceed 40 days. After the period of observation, the examining physician or psychologist shall provide the court a report of their findings, which shall include whether the examining physician or psychologist diagnosed the defendant with a mental illness, as defined in this section, or confirmed a previous mental illness diagnosis. If the findings do not indicate that the defendant has a diagnosed mental illness, the court shall impose the sentence. If the findings indicate that the defendant has a diagnosed mental illness, the court shall hold a hearing on the issue of the defendant’s mental condition. The court shall find the defendant guilty but with a mental illness if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant has a mental illness. If a defendant is found guilty but with a mental illness, the court shall impose the same sentence as provided by law for a defendant found guilty of the same crime; provided however, if the sentence includes a term of imprisonment, the court shall order the defendant to serve the entirety of their imprisonment at a facility, as defined in section 1, or if the defendant is a male and the court determines that a secure facility is required, the defendant shall serve the sentence at Bridgewater State Hospital. Consistent with public safety and security, the defendant shall be held in the least restrictive setting that is clinically indicated and will not create a likelihood of serious harm, as defined in section 1. Any defendant confined to Bridgewater State Hospital shall be entitled to a hearing after a period of 12 months to determine if the defendant should be transferred to a facility, as defined in section 1.
(g) In like manner to the proceedings under paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (e) and (f) of this section, a court may order a psychiatric or psychological examination or a period of observation for an alleged delinquent in a facility to aid the court in its disposition. Such period shall not exceed 40 days.
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