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Hickenlooper: Mentally ill shouldn't go to jail



Back in June, Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed Senate Bill 169, which would have expanded the ability of police to hold people with mental health issues. He called the bill "well-intentioned" but said he didn't want to hold people with mental illness in jails if they had committed no crime — despite the fact that in many areas there is nowhere to put them.

Hickenlooper directed the Department of Human Services to form a task force and report on how the state could stop holding the mentally ill in jails. That task force has recommended the state Legislature pass a bill prohibiting holding the mentally ill in jails.

According to a release, the task force also "developed recommendations to bolster system capacity, streamline regulations and maximize the state's existing behavioral health resources; understand the need for and overcome barriers to inpatient care for people in mental health crisis; and develop data tracking systems to better understand the scope of the mental health hold problem in Colorado."

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