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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 622        FILED ON: 1/18/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 554


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Byron Rushing


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to the treatment of prisoners..






Byron Rushing

9th Suffolk

Patricia D. Jehlen


Linda Dorcena Forry

12th Suffolk

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

Joyce A. Spiliotis

12th Essex

Elizabeth A. Malia

11th Suffolk

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

Alice K. Wolf

25th Middlesex

William N. Brownsberger


Gloria L. Fox

7th Suffolk

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire

Benjamin Swan

11th Hampden

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 622        FILED ON: 1/18/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 554

By Mr. Rushing of Boston, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 554) of Byron Rushing and others relative to the treatment of emotionally disturbed prisoners.  Mental Health and Substance Abuse. 


SEE HOUSE, NO. 1947 OF 2009-2010.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Eleven



An Act relative to the treatment of prisoners..


              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

              SECTION 1. Chapter 127 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding after

              Section 32 the following new section:—


              (A) Prohibitions Concerning Intervention for Suicide Attempts and Self-Mutilation

              (1) A prisoner who either commits self-mutilation or attempts suicide shall not be disciplined

              or punished for such behavior, nor shall the prisoner be segregated or isolated except to the

              extent specifically authorized by medical staff for treatment. The use of “closed solid door

              isolation,” so-called, to punish or manage suicidal or self-mutilating prisoners is specifically


              (B) Requirements Concerning Intervention for Suicide Attempts and Self-Mutilation

              (1) The commissioner shall require that the following steps be taken to insure appropriate

              responses to suicide attempts. Institutional staff will be trained in techniques for responding

              to suicide attempts and self-mutilation that ensure the safe and quick extrication of prisoners

              who hang themselves and the provision of necessary first aid. A prisoner who commits selfmutilation

              or attempts suicide shall immediately receive appropriate medical attention and

              shall be interviewed by a licensed mental health professional within twelve hours of the

              incident, which interview shall be logged in the inmate’s medical record and in the block log

              where the prisoner is located at the time of the interview.

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