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J_MICJS_2021A 09/08/2021 09:03:16 AM Committee Summary

Date 09/08/2021
Amabile X
Lee X
Pelton X
Simpson X
Rodriguez X
Benavidez X
Time 09:03:16 AM to 02:53:09 PM
Place HCR 0112
This Meeting was called to order by Benavidez
This Report was prepared by Juliann Jenson
Hearing Items Action Taken
Public Testimony Committee Discussion Only
Overview of Mental Health Jail Standards Committee Discussion Only
Update on Advisory Task Force and Subcommittee Activities and Policy Recommendations Committee Discussion Only

Public Testimony - Committee Discussion Only

09:04:15 AM  

The meeting was called to order. There was no public testimony.

Overview of Mental Health Jail Standards - Committee Discussion Only

09:04:41 AM  

Captain Jamison Brown, representing the Colorado Jail Association and Denver County Sheriff Department, updated the committee on jail standards.  He reported that the County Sheriffs of Colorado have been working on uniform jail standards for upwards of 15 years but have not come to an agreement.  He discussed jails and mental health services, resources or lack thereof, and court ordered medications.  He noted that Colorado is one of 13 states without statewide jail standards. 

09:13:37 AM  

Dr. Nikki Johnson, Chief of Mental Health Services, Denver County Sheriff's Office, provided an overview of her background and position.  She discussed competency, mental health step-down units, crisis response teams, and jail standards. 

Committee members asked questions about how jails address mental health services absent state-wide standards. Captain Brown and Dr. Johnson responded that most jails have standards and policies already in place that are not dissimilar from each other.   They also referenced the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. 

09:24:29 AM  

Committee discussion followed about step-down units, the solitary confinement bill passed in 2021, wrap-around services, continuity of care, and certified and non-certified jail deputies.  

09:39:00 AM  

Committee members asked questions about private treatment providers and regional diversion centers. 

Update on Advisory Task Force and Subcommittee Activities and Policy Recommendations - Committee Discussion Only

09:47:42 AM  

Dr. David Iverson , MHDCJS Task Force Chair, and Ashley Tunstall, MHDCJS Vice-Chair, provided an update on the task force and related activities.  They highlighted past areas of studies and legislative results, including but not limited to juveniles, housing, diversion programs, and  medication consistency. 

They noted that each subcommittee will present on their recommendations. 


10:02:15 AM  
10:35:03 AM  

Ms. Shimaell discussed six bill concepts from the housing subcommittee.  The first bill concept recommended to expand intermediate and long-term treatment bed capacity for inpatient psychiatric care by mandating certain percentage of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars.  Committee members asked how the recommendation pertains to the criminal justice population.  Further discussion ensued about the scope of the committee and prevention and diversion. 

10:54:54 AM  

Ms. Shimeall continued with the second bill concept regarding transitional group homes. 

The third bill concept recommended to amend the defiinition of  "community benefit" as defined in statute, by mandating specific standards of after-care reporting requirements, as well as including step down hospital care for mental health holds. 

Ms. Shimeall explained the fourth bill concept regarding extensive support services and "braiding" together a continuum of housing options from various entitites using ARPA and other funds.  Committee members asked questions about the bill concept, funding streams, and allowable uses of funds.

Ms. Shimeal continued to the fifth bill concept about increasing fees collected by counties and referenced a legal opinion about "indirect costs". 

Lastly, Ms. Shimeall explained the sixth bill concept about dedicating ARPA funds for housing support services programs. 


The committee recessed for lunch. 


11:45:21 AM  

Recommendations from the data and information sharing subcommittee were next presented to the Legislative Oversight Committee. The following packet of information was distributed to members:

 Dr. Libby Stout discussed a white paper on high potency marijuana and suggested a potency cap.  Committee members asked questions about how high potency caps relate to the charge of the committee. 

Peggy Heil, subpanel member representing the Department of Public Safety, discussed data sharing and interoperability platforms.  Amy Del Rio, IT Portfolio Manager, Colorado Governor's Office of Information Technology, joined Ms. Heil at the table to explain interoperability platforms.  They both discussed the need to more easily look at data across systems.  Ms. Heil further highlighted web-based alternative responses to 911 calls.  She next presented a proposal to make vital records more accessabile for research purposes, such as figuring out what happens to a person after being placed on a mental health hold.  


01:43:23 PM  

Ms. Tunstall reported no proposed legislation from the youth subcommittee.  She discussed the subcommittee's work on competency statutes. 


01:49:25 PM  

Dr. David Iverson reported on the mental health hold subcommittee.  He first discussed a proposal to look at mental health emergency department regulations regarding the entities that can provide mental health services.  The committee noted that this recommendation is more appropriate for regulatory, instead of statutory, change. 

Committee discussion followed about community mental health centers and mental health holds. 

The proposal can be found here:




02:16:05 PM  

Dr. Iverson continued with another recommendation regarding the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing bill coding for mental health services.  Committee members discussed coding and Medicaid. 

The proposal can be found here:

02:30:46 PM  

The Chair mentioned revisiting the reauthorization bill.  She reminded the committee about the next meeting and bill draft requests. 



02:53:09 PM   The committee adjourned.