Skip to Content

Download PDF

HOUSE DOCKET, NO.                 FILED ON: 3/12/2012

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 4023



The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Twelve



An Act concerning the right of persons receiving services from programs or facilities of the Department of Mental Health to daily access to the outdoors.


              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.  Section 23 of Chapter 123 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after subparagraph (e) the following subparagraph:-

              (f) reasonable daily access to the outdoors at inpatient facilities consistent with the ability of such facilities to safely provide access. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations defining what constitutes safe and reasonable access. This right shall attach upon admission to an inpatient facility. The initial exercise of this right shall be subject to an assessment by a clinician which shall be completed no more than 48 hours after admission. This right may be temporarily suspended for a person in an inpatient facility upon determination by a clinician pursuant to standards and procedures set forth in department regulations that such person’s exercise of such right in the immediate future would present a substantial risk of serious harm to such person or others. The suspension shall last no longer than the time necessary to prevent the harm and its imposition shall be documented with specific facts in such person’s record.  The signing of a three-day notice shall not constitute a basis for suspending the rights set forth in clause (f).

              SECTION 2.  Said section 23, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 68, the word “(e)” and inserting the following word:- (f)

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.