POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Lawmaker wants to increase maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments

Feb 21, 2024, 9:00 PM

Rep. Tyler Clancy, R-Provo, speaks about HB261 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 19,...

Rep. Tyler Clancy, R-Provo, speaks about HB261 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. Utah lawmakers are supporting a bill to increase the maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments. (Marielle Scott/Deseret News)

(Marielle Scott/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are supporting a bill to increase the maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments. That’s when someone like a police officer can have a person committed for mental health treatment.

The maximum amount of time someone can be committed right now is 24 hours. However, if H.B. 299 passes, that would increase to 72 hours.

“Is jail always the right option for individuals who are committing crimes or … causing a public disorder,” said bill sponsor Rep. Tyler Clancy, R-Salt Lake City. “We believe that there’s more tools, more pieces to the puzzle than just jail.”

Clancy said that anytime the legislature expands on commitments it must also expand resources. So, part of this bill would also study future needs and capacity at places like the state hospital in Provo.

The bill passed unanimously in committee and is now headed to the full house for consideration.

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Lawmaker wants to increase maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments