Cornyn Introduces Mental Health and Safe Communities Act

In: All News   Posted 08/05/2015

Bill Will Enable Law Enforcement, Local Officials to Better Identify and Treat Potentially Dangerous Mentally-Ill Individuals

Aug 05 2015

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) will introduce legislation designed to enhance the ability of local communities to identify and treat potentially dangerous, mentally-ill individuals. The Mental Health and Safe Communities Act will help fix the existing background check system without expanding it, increase the use of treatment-based alternatives for mentally-ill offenders, and improve crisis response and prevention by local officials. The bill is endorsed by a diverse group of organizations, including the National Rifle Association (NRA), the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the National Association of Police Organizations.

“While potentially dangerous mentally-ill individuals are often known to law enforcement and local officials, gaps in existing law or inadequate resources prevent our communities from taking proactive steps to prevent them from becoming violent,” said Sen. Cornyn.

“This legislation will strengthen programs that promote preventative screening and crisis response training so that we can better understand and treat the factors which may endanger public safety,” Sen. Cornyn continued. “By giving our communities the resources necessary to recognize and prevent acts of violence, we not only protect American families, but help those affected by mental illness.”

The bill has been endorsed by key national organizations, including:

  • National Rifle Association
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • National Association of Police Organizations
  • American Correctional Association
  • American Jail Association
  • Council of State Governments
  • Treatment Advocacy Center
  • National Sheriffs' Association
  • National Association of Social Workers