4 December 2016

Advocacy Alert: Judiciary Sub-Committee Hearing Needed for SC Senate Bill S.173


December 4th, 2016

Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) and de-escalation training for our police are incredibly vital for the safety of people with a mental health  or substance abuse crisis who encounter law enforcement. We want to thank Senator Vincent Sheheen for leading the charge on this life saving solution oriented legislation. Rehinge has worked closely with Senator Sheheen to produce this bill that will help push CIT throughout the great state of SC. Now is the time for momentum so we can get a Judiciary sub-committee hearing immediately after it is read on the Senate floor in January. Please call and write your Senator and ask them to co-sponsor S. 173 the CIT and Police De-escalation Training Act.

The proposed legislation would require the S.C. Law Enforcement Training Council to create a Crisis Intervention Team training center and for every county to have at least one crisis intervention team. We need you to call, write, or email your local SC State Senator and tell them to co-sponsor Senate Bill S.173 so that it will reach a Judiciary Sub-Committee. This is an important first step towards getting this bill passed!

Bob Montgomery of Go Upstate also wrote an article on the bill being pre-filed, and includes quotes from Paton Blough and Senator Sheheen.

Law enforcement in South Carolina would get more training in dealing with people having a mental health or substance abuse crisis under a bill that the state General Assembly could take up next year.

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Camden Democrat who has made two runs for governor, pre-filed a bill on the issue this week. The proposed legislation mirrors a measure he introduced late in the Legislature’s last session that died in committee.

“We’ve got a real crisis in many of our hospitals and detention facilities where people who suffer mental health problems are dumped,” Sheheen told the Herald-Journal on Thursday.

The proposed legislation would require the S.C. Law Enforcement Training Council to create a crisis intervention training center and for every county to have at least one crisis intervention team.

Mental health advocate Paton Blough of Greenville said he met several times with Sheheen as the bill was put together.

“This solves some of the policing issues … and gives people help and hope,” said Blough, a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “It’s about human kindness. It’s giving officers more tools — not taking away Tasers or guns — to possibly de-escalate a situation and help the person in crisis avoid injury and maybe themselves an injury.”

“It’s long overdue,” Brown said. “It’s a needed bill. As you see, there are a number of situations in our court systems that unfortunately have a mental health aspect to them.”

Brown and Blough said they are hopeful the General Assembly will pass the bill because both Democrats and Republicans realize that having more officers trained to deal with mental illness and drug abuse can lead to better outcomes and reduced pressure on jails.

“It will help keep people out of prisons,” Blough said. “It’s exciting to see solutions that work being promoted in the state from both sides of the aisle with the support of advocates and police departments.”

Read the Full Article on GoUpstate.com

We have also compiled a list of current SC Senators below with contact information that you can use:

Thomas C. Alexander 803-212-6220 SLCIComm@scsenate.gov
Rex Rice Send an Email
Kevin L. Bryant 803-212-6320 KevinBryant@scsenate.gov
Michael Gambrell Send an Email
Tom Corbin 803-212-6100 TomCorbin@scsenate.gov
William Timmons Send an Email
Karl B. Allen 803-212-6040 KarlAllen@scsenate.gov
Ross Turner 803-212-6148 RossTurner@scsenate.gov
Danny Verdin, III 803-212-6230 SAgriComm@scsenate.gov
Floyd Nicholson 803-212-6040 FloydNicholson@scsenate.gov
Gleen G. Reese 803-212-6108 GlennReese@scsenate.gov
Scott Talley Send an Email
Shane R. Martin 803-212-6100 ShaneMartin@scsenate.gov
Harvey S. Peeler, Jr 803-212-6430 SMediComm@scsenate.gov
Wes Climer Send an Email
Greg Gregory 803-212-6024 GregGregory@scsenate.gov
Mike Fanning Send an Email
Ronnie W. Cromer 803-212-6330 RonnieCromer@scsenate.gov
John L. Scott, Jr 803-212-6124 JohnScott@scsenate.gov
John E. Courson 803-212-6250 SEduComm@scsenate.gov
Darrell Jackson 803-212-6048 DarrellJackson@scsenate.gov
Mia McLeod Send an Email
Katrina Frye Shealy 803-212-6108 KatrinaShealy@scsenate.gov
Tom Young, Jr 803-212-6000 TomYoung@scsenate.gov
Shane A. Massey 803-212-6148 ShaneMassey@scsenate.gov
Nikki G. Setzler 803-212-6140 NikkiSetzler@scsenate.gov
Vincent A. Sheheen 803-212-6032 VincentSheheen@scsenate.gov
Greg Hembree 803-212-6016 GregHembree@scsenate.gov
Gerald Malloy 803-212-6172 GeraldMalloy@scsenate.gov
Kent M. Williams 803-212-6000 KentWilliams@scsenate.gov
Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr 803-212-6640 SFinComm@scsenate.gov
Ronnie A. Sabb 803-212-6032 RonnieSabb@scsenate.gov
Luke A. Rankin 803-212-6410 SethicsComm@scsenate.gov
Stephen Goldfinch, Jr Send an Email
J. Thomas McElveen, III 803-212-6132 ThomasMcElveen@scsenate.gov
Kevin L. Johnson 803-212-6048 KevinJohnson@scsenate.gov
Larry Grooms 803-212-6400 STransComm@scsenate.gov
Sean Bennett 803-212-6116 SeanBennett@scsenate.gov
John W. Matthews 803-212-6056 JohnMatthews@scsenate.gov
Bradley Hutto 803-212-6140 BradHutto@scsenate.gov
Sandy Senn Send an Email
Marlon E. Kimpson 803-212-6124 marlonkimpson@scsenate.gov
Chip Campsen, III 803-212-6340 ChipCampsen@scsenate.gov
Paul G. Campbell 803-212-6016 PaulCampbell@scsenate.gov
Margie Bright Matthews 803-212-6056 margiematthews@scsenate.gov
Tom Davis 803-212-6008 TomDavis@scsenate.gov

About Rehinge

Rehinge exists to provide hope, education, and spiritual inspiration for all people affected with mental health issues and to fight stigma while pushing for global mental health reform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *