topics Policy Research Texas Commission on Jail Standards Major Findings on SB 1849

Texas Commission on Jail Standards Major Findings on SB 1849

Senate Bill (SB) 1849, referred to as “The Sandra Bland Act” (SBA) in this report, requires Texas county jails to make changes to minimum jail standards as of September 1, 2017. To address sections of the bill that specifically pertain to the provision of mental health services for individuals who may have a mental health diagnosis or are experiencing a mental health crisis upon booking, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) collected and assessed information from county jails across the state of Texas on their current capability to provide tele-medicine and tele-mental health services, magistrate notification within 12-hours if a defendant is identified as having a mental illness, diversion services for individuals requiring mental health and substance abuse treatment, and continuity of medications.

TCJS asked the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) to help TCJS assess jail readiness. In partnership with TCJS, MMHPI developed a comprehensive survey requesting information to assist TCJS in assessing each county jail’s readiness to implement the Sandra Bland Act across areas such as medical and mental health care, transportation, tele-health/tele-psychiatry services, and partnerships with treatment facilities.

This white paper provides a summary of survey responses received from 233 county jails (all but one of the 234 currently operating county jails across the state) that submitted responses.

Read or download the full white paper Texas Commission on Jail Standards SB 1849 Major Findings.