Tracy bill would work to avert tragedy

Contact:  Darlene Schlicher (615) 741-6336 or email:  [email protected].

(NASHVILLE, TN), April 15, 2010 –State Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) guided passage of legislation through the Senate Judiciary Committee this week aimed at averting a tragedy like one that occurred in Rutherford County last November.  The bill, Senate Bill 3439, gives law enforcement officers who believe a defendant arrested for an offense against a person poses a substantial likelihood of serious harm the ability to request an examination of the defendant by a member of the Community Mental Health Crisis Response Service.

The examination must be completed within 12 hours or the defendant would be allowed to admit bail under the bill, as amended.

“The bill arises from a Rutherford County tragedy last November, when a woman was beaten by her son after he had been arrested for assault,” said Senator Tracy.  “The son had a long history of mental illness.  This bill works to avert such tragedies from occurring again.”

The bill, which was approved by a 9 to 0 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, now goes to the full Senate for final approval.  The bill is sponsored by Rep. Kent Coleman (D-Murfressboro) in the House of Representatives.

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