AUGUSTA – A controversial bill has been blocked by the senate. Democratic lawmakers joined by three senate republicans to kill a bill that would have allowed certain mental health patients to be transferred to prison.
The proposal would have placed those determined “not criminally responsible” or “incompetent to stand trial” in the intensive mental health unit at the Maine State Prison.
The facility has a 32 bed unit to treat those in the jail system who suffer from mental illnesses.
Instead the senate passed a bill that would make sure patients receive care outside of the prison. The house passed the amended bill earlier this week, and it now faces additional votes in both the house and senate.