LRIDD (Legal Reform for the Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled)’s Portfolio

10 bills are being tracked.

Local correctional facilities and lock-ups; minimum standards. (HB147)

Patron: Del. Bill Wiley (R-Winchester)
Status: failed committee

SUPPORT

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Arrest/prosecution of individual experiencing mental health emerg.; assault against law enforcement. (HB613)

Patron: Del. Jeff Bourne (D-Richmond)
Status: failed committee

SUPPORT this bill that makes people experiencing mental health crises immune from arrest and prosecution for assault on a law enforcement officer.

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Criminal proceedings; evidence of defendant's mental condition. (HB794)

Patron: Del. Jason Ballard (R-Pearisburg)
Status: failed committee

OPPOSE this legislation. LRIDD condemns Senate Bill 229 and urges the legislature to let the current law stand as is. Senator Obenshain's amendment seems to mistakenly assume that the exclusions in his bill will better protect Virginia's children. While this is a laudable intention, the fact is that most developmentally disabled individuals do not set out to intentionally break the law with the goal of hurting anyone. The original bill currently in effect recognizes that developmentally disabled individuals are prime candidates for rehabilitation because of their tendency to be rule followers---once the rules are explained to them. Research shows that autistic people and those with ID do not offend at a higher rate than the general population. The current iteration or amendment of this bill ignores this important fact and potentially imposes a lifetime of hardship and exclusion for both the autistic individual and his or her family. There is no empirical research to suggest Senator Obenshain's bill will improve public safety. We strongly urge the judiciary committee to consider the inherent developmental differences these individuals have from birth and their lack of criminal intent the vast majority of the time.

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Marcus alert system; participation in the system is optional for localities, etc. (HB1191)

Patron: Del. Margaret Ransone (R-Kinsale)
Status: signed by governor

OPPOSE this bill that makes the Marcus Alert system optional for local governments. LRIDD worked hard to ensure that we begin the process of removing police from responding to incidents involving a person experiencing a mental health crisis. This needs to be a statewide program if we are to reduce the high incidence of death and injury to individuals and police in these kinds of cases.

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Persons with autism or intellectual disabilities; deferred disposition, offenses against minors. (SB229)

Patron: Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg)
Status: failed committee

OPPOSE this legislation. LRIDD condemns Senate Bill 229 and urges the legislature to let the current law stand as is. Senator Obenshain's amendment seems to mistakenly assume that the exclusions in his bill will better protect Virginia's children. While this is a laudable intention, the fact is that most developmentally disabled individuals do not set out to intentionally break the law with the goal of hurting anyone. The original bill currently in effect recognizes that developmentally disabled individuals are prime candidates for rehabilitation because of their tendency to be rule followers---once the rules are explained to them. Research shows that autistic people and those with ID do not offend at a higher rate than the general population. The current iteration or amendment of this bill ignores this important fact and potentially imposes a lifetime of hardship and exclusion for both the autistic individual and his or her family. There is no empirical research to suggest Senator Obenshain's bill will improve public safety. We strongly urge the judiciary committee to consider the inherent developmental differences these individuals have from birth and their lack of criminal intent the vast majority of the time.

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Marcus alert system; participation in the system is optional for localities, etc. (SB361)

Patron: Sen. Richard Stuart (R-Westmoreland)
Status: signed by governor

OPPOSE this bill that makes the Marcus Alert system optional for local governments. LRIDD worked hard to ensure that we begin the process of removing police from responding to incidents involving a person experiencing a mental health crisis. This needs to be a statewide program if we are to reduce the high incidence of death and injury to individuals and police in these kinds of cases.

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Defendants; evidence of mental condition, specific intent crimes. (SB573)

Patron: Sen. Ryan McDougle (R-Mechanicsville)
Status: failed committee

OPPOSE this legislaton. LRIDD strongly opposes this bill that seeks to narrow the scope of the law passed last year that allows evidence of a person's developmental disability to be introduced at any time during the criminal legal process.

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Criminal proceedings; evidence of defendant's mental condition. (SB645)

Patron: Sen. John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake)
Status: failed committee

OPPOSE this legislation. LRIDD strongly opposes this bill. This is bill repeals what we have worked for fair and equitable justice in accordance with the ADA. Allowing evidence of a person's developmental disability should be allowed throughout the legal process. If this appealed the only way the evidence of a developmental disability is allowed in to the court is only if a person pleads guilty. With 95% of the cases in Virginia are done by plea bargaining. This forces a person to plea bargain just to let the evidence of a developmental disability and it's relation to the offense.

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