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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1607         FILED ON: 1/17/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3428

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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PRESENTED BY:

Kay Khan

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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 regarding juvenile incompetency in the commonwealth.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Brian M. Ashe

2nd Hampden

Marcos A. Devers

16th Essex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1607        FILED ON: 1/17/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3428

By Ms. Khan of Newton, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 3428) of Kay Khan, Brian M. Ashe and Marcos A. Devers for legislation to establish a juvenile competency review team to study the needs and treatment services available to juveniles who are declared incompetent to stand trial.  The Judiciary. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act regarding juvenile incompetency in the commonwealth.
 

              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. (a) The juvenile court department in collaboration with the department of mental health, the juvenile court clinics, the department of youth services, the office of the child advocate, the department of development services, and the youth advocacy division of the committee for public counsel services, together known as the juvenile competency review team, is hereby authorized and directed to conduct a comprehensive review of the needs and treatment services available to meet the needs of juveniles who are declared incompetent to stand trial. To complete said review, the juvenile competency review team shall solicit input from the office of probation, the department of children and families, the department of elementary and secondary education, the department of developmental services, the Massachusetts Association of District Attorneys, at least one individual representing the interests of parents and families, one juvenile justice advocate, and any additional persons deemed appropriate. Said review shall be for purposes of identifying and analyzing the following:

              (i) data pertaining to the numbers and ages of juveniles found incompetent to stand trial, and the basis for their determination;

              (ii) data pertaining to the number of cases where the juveniles are not detained, and cases where juveniles are sent for evaluation but the competency issues are not resolved;

              (iii) needs of juveniles who are declared incompetent for the purposes of facilitating services and achieving competency;

              (iv) existing treatment services the commonwealth utilizes to meet the needs of juveniles who are declared incompetent to stand trial and achieve competency;

              (v) tools, education, and procedures necessary to better treat juveniles declared incompetent to stand trial and allow them to achieve competency;

              (vi) best practices and available models of treatment to meet the needs of juveniles who are declared incompetent to stand trial and achieve competency; and

              (vii) advice and recommendations for addressing unmet needs of juveniles who are declared incompetent to stand trial for the purposes of achieving competency.

              (b) Within 60 days after the effective date hereof, the juvenile court department on the basis of the findings of said juvenile competency review team shall post to its external website, for 30 days public comment, a proposed work plan to gather information necessary to prepare the report required by this section, in consultation with clinical, philanthropic and advocacy organizations for children, and providers of mental health and substance abuse services for minors. The proposed work plan shall be directed to submit a final report to the legislature and the governor no later than 270 days after the effective date of this act.

              (c)Within 100 days after the effective date of this act, the juvenile court department on the basis of the findings of said juvenile competency review team shall post its final work plan on its external website.

              (d) Within 210 days after the effective date of this act, the juvenile court department on the basis of the findings of said juvenile competency review team shall post on its external website, for public comment, a draft report responsive to this section.

              (e) Within 270 days after the effective date of this act, the juvenile court department on the basis of the findings of said juvenile competency review team shall post on its external website a final report responsive to this section, including a summary of all public comments received, and responses to such comments. The juvenile court department on the basis of the findings of said juvenile competency review team shall also that day provide a copy of its final report to the governor, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the chairs of the joint committees on ways and means, mental health and substance abuse, and children, families and persons with disabilities, and the legislative mental health caucus.

              SECTION 2. Chapter 218 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

              59A. (a) For purposes of this section, “local juvenile competency review team” shall mean the team convened for purposes of section (b) by the division of the juvenile court department that found the juvenile not competent to stand trial consisting of any representatives of the juvenile court clinic, the probation department, the department of youth services, the Local Educational Authority, the department of mental health, the juvenile’s attorney, any parent or guardian of the juvenile, the department of children and families only if the juvenile is a consumer and any other persons involved with services for the juvenile.

              (b) Within 72 hours of a finding of not competent to stand trial, the division of the juvenile court department shall request the convening of the local juvenile competency review team to begin to formulate and implement a service plan for the purposes of achieving competency for the juvenile declared incompetent. The plan shall identify all services, including mental health, substance abuse, educational and social services, necessary to treat the juvenile declared incompetent and shall recommend a place for the juvenile to stay until competency is achieved or until that place is no longer adequate to meet the juvenile’s needs. The plan shall designate a case manager or other appropriate care coordinator to ensure collaboration of state agencies, educational authorities, services providers, and any other persons contributing to the service needs of the juvenile declared incompetent. The plan shall establish a mechanism to report on the juvenile’s progress until he or she achieves competency. The case manager shall determine the frequency of the report and shall send a copy to those contributing to the service needs of the juvenile declared incompetent.

              (c) The local juvenile competency review team shall have access to the juvenile’s confidential records provided that the team gains the consent of the juvenile defendant’s parent or legal guardian and, through the defendant’s counsel, the juvenile.

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