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Messmer Report: Tackling mental health issues in Indiana's jails

Tackling mental health issues in Indiana's jails

By State Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper)

During the 2023 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly considered several bills dealing with the mental health of Hoosiers.

One of these bills is Senate Enrolled Act 1, which will improve access to mental health services in Indiana and helps lay the groundwork for increasing the number of certified behavioral health clinics in the state.

For a number of years, law enforcement officials have asked legislative leaders to find a way to remove individuals experiencing mental illness from jail.

House Enrolled Act 1006 is designed to create a pathway so those with mental health issues do not immediately end up in our county jails upon their arrest for a crime because county jails are not able to care for individuals suffering from a mental health crisis.

This new law will allow a police officer to take an individual to a mental health facility.

A person arrested by officers and sent to a mental health clinic will still face prosecution, however there will be a procedure in place for the person to receive treatment before the legal process continues.

This process looks to address the root issue of crime and get help to those who need it most, hopefully setting them up for a more promising future.

House Enrolled Act 1006 received bipartisan support through the Indiana General Assembly and has been signed by the governor. It will go into effect on July 1.

As always, feel free to contact my office directly with your questions and concerns by email at or by phone at 800-382-9467.


State Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) represents Senate District 48, which
includes Crawford, Dubois, Gibson, Perry, Pike and Spencer counties.
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