It soon will be against the law in Colorado to lock people in jail when they are picked up on mental health holds.
The legislation signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday also increases funds for a network of crisis-response teams, walk-in mental health treatment centers and transportation to treatment from rural areas. The legislation, which takes effect Aug. 9, was passed in combination with a state human services department budget request to spend $9.5 million in marijuana tax funds, which will pay for two-person mobile crisis teams to intervene in mental health-related police calls, among other new services.
Colorado had been one of only six states that allowed putting people who are suicidal or having mental health episodes behind bars. The law, Senate Bill 17-207, bans the use of jails to house people who are a “danger to themselves or others” but have not committed any crime.