INDIANAPOLIS – Senate Bill (SB) 389 passed 8-0 out of the Family and Children Services Committee on Monday. SB 389, authored by State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis), would allow incarcerated individuals in the juvenile justice system access to mental health and addiction forensic treatment services. These treatments are currently reserved for individuals over 18 years of age, which is limiting because each year, millions of young people with mental disorders are arrested. Under current legislation, these individuals are not eligible for the kind of life-changing mental health treatment services offered to incarcerated adults.

SB 389 seeks to expand a program already in place for adults called Recovery Works, which is a new, shared federal and state program that provides services to help individuals overcome mental health and addiction problems.

Senator Breaux was pleased with the bipartisan support this bill received upon first reading.

“This is a very serious issue,” Sen. Breaux said. “The consequence of not identifying these youth with mental health issues is that there is a larger percentage of recidivism, which can negatively affect entire Hoosier communities. I would like to see this bill continue to move through the legislature so that we can start getting incarcerated young people with mental illnesses the treatments that they need.”