§ 5100.92. Voluntary examination and treatment of a person charged with a crime or serving a sentence.

 (a)  Whenever a person in criminal detention, whether in lieu of bail or when serving a sentence, believes he is in need of treatment and substantially understands the nature of voluntary treatment, he may submit himself to examination and treatment.

 (b)  Prior to voluntary admission, at least one physician, preferably a psychiatrist where the person is in criminal detention, shall certify in writing the necessity for such treatment. This certification shall contain at least the following information:

   (1)  A statement that the person substantially understands the nature of inpatient treatment, including the nature of his mental illness or condition, and the requirement for continued security if admitted to a mental health facility.

   (2)  A statement that the patient is so mentally ill as to require inpatient hospitalization and an explanation why outpatient management in the penal institution population by way of psychotherapy with or without medication will not be sufficient.

   (3)  A description of the person’s condition, symptoms, clinical history, and diagnosis.

 (c)  The correctional facility shall secure a written acceptance of the person for inpatient treatment from a mental health facility. This written acceptance shall contain at least the following information:

   (1)  A statement that the inpatient mental health facility is willing and able to accept the person for treatment.

   (2)  A description of the security which the inpatient mental health facility is able to provide.

 (d)  The superintendent or warden of the correctional facility where the person is detained shall prepare a statement concerning the reasons for seeking treatment.

 (e)  The person’s written voluntary admission request, the physician’s certification, the statement of the superintendent of the correctional facility regarding security needs, and the written acceptance from the mental health facility shall be forwarded to the president judge of the court of common pleas, in the county where the person was charged or sentenced.

 (f)  The documents listed in subsections (b) through (e) shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested to:

   (1)  The judge in the court which sentenced the person. If it is determined the sentencing judge is no longer on the bench, the information shall be sent to the president judge.

   (2)  The district attorney of the sentencing county.

   (3)  The county administrator of the sentencing county.

 (g)  The County Administrator of the county of the person’s legal residence, if different from the person’s county of sentence, shall receive notification by the correctional facility that the person has requested voluntary admission to a mental health facility. This notification shall include the name of the proposed mental health facility and the name of the judge of the county of sentence to whom the voluntary request has been submitted.

 (h)  Upon receipt of the request for voluntary admission, the district attorney of the county of sentence may, within 14 days have a physician conduct an independent examination of the applicant or file a motion contesting the need for treatment.

 (i)  The Department will not participate in the costs of examination, transportation, or hearings incurred at the request of the distict attorney.

 (j)  The court of common pleas for the judicial district in which the person is charged or sentenced shall have jurisdiction for purposes related to section 407 of the act (50 P. S. §  7407). Where possible, the sentencing judge shall preside.

 (k)  Upon receipt of the request for voluntary examination and treatment, and upon review of the request, and its attendant reports, and following any hearing on the matter the court shall either approve or disapprove the request.

   (1)  In the event the court approves the request for voluntary admission to a mental health facility, the court shall also indicate whether the conditions of security presented by the inpatient mental health facility are appropriate. If the court believes a greater or lesser degree of security is appropriate, it shall so direct.

 (l)  The Department has designated Farview State Hospital as the Commonwealth’s maximum security psychiatric facility. The Department has also designated Warren State Hospital, Mayview State Hospital, Norristown State Hospital, and Philadelphia State Hospital as having medium security forensic units for male patients. The general wards of State hospitals and most approved community mental health facilities can only provide the same degree of security as they do for civilly committed patients. Regarding placement for women, or questions regarding the appropriate level of secure placement for males, the regional mental health for the region in which the person is located should be contacted.

 (m)  Whenever the court approves the request of the person charged with crime or undergoing sentence, the receiving mental health facility, when space is available, shall accept the person and immediately proceed to examine the person and develop a detailed treatment plan.

   (1)  In the event the receiving facility determines that the person is unwilling to agree upon or participate in a treatment plan, or is unwilling to accept the security provisions imposed by the court, the mental health facility is to make arrangements with the correctional institutes from which the person was transferred, to effect the person’s immediate return to the correctional facility. The court authorizing the voluntary admission, the district attorney, and the county administrator of the county of residence, if different from the county of sentence, are to be sent notifications of this action by the mental health facility.

   (2)  If, at the time of the initial examination, or anytime thereafter, the mental health facility is of the opinion that the patient requires more security than the facility can offer and the patient will not consent to his transfer to a more secure facility the sending correctional authority shall be contacted immediately in order to return the patient to the sending facility. Alternatively, the mental health facility may initiate a petition for involuntary treatment to a facility with greater security. All costs involved in the transportation shall be billed to the correctional facility.

   (3)  In the event the receiving mental health facility is able to accept the person and a treatment plan is agreed upon with the person, treatment shall begin immediately.

   (4)  The receiving mental health facility shall notify the person’s county of residence, if different from the county where person was charged or sentenced, of the person’s voluntary admission. The county administrator is the person to whom the notification is to be sent.

 (n)  The treatment plan shall include a written agreement with the patient that, upon notice to withdraw from treatment, he may be held at the facility for a reasonable time until arrangements can be made for transportation by the county jail or State correctional institution.

   (1)  In the event the person gives notice to withdraw and it appears that the standards for involuntary treatment can be met, proceedings may be initiated under sections 302 and 304 of the act (50 P. S. § §  7302 or 7304).

     (i)   During the pendency of any petitions filed under section 304 of the act, the mental health facility shall have the authority to detain the person regardless of the provision of section 203 of the act, provided that the hearing under section 304 of the act, is conducted within 7 days of the time the person gives notice of his intent to withdraw from treatment.

     (ii)   If no hearing is held within 7 days subsequent to the filing of a petition under section 304 of the act, the person shall be returned to, and by the correctional institution where he was originally detained.

 (o)  A report of the person’s mental condition shall be made by the mental health facility to the court within 30 days of the person’s transfer to the facility. The report shall set forth the specific grounds as to why continued treatment at a mental health facility is necessary. After the initial report the mental health facility shall thereafter report to the court every 180 days.

   (1)  Copies of the report to the court shall be sent to the county administrator of the county of residence if different from the county where the person was charged or sentenced.

 (p)  At any time when the mental health facility finds that continued voluntary treatment is no longer necessary the person shall be discharged and returned to the correctional facility.

 (q)  Transporting the person to and from the county jail or State correctional institution for admission or discharge to or from a mental health facility shall be the responsibility of the county jail or State correctional institution where the person was originally detained.

 (r)  Liability for treatment of an individual admitted to a State mental health facility shall be assessed pursuant to section 505 of the Mental Health/Mental Retardation Act of 1966 (50 P. S. §  4505), and section 408 of the act (50 P. S. §  7408).

 (s)  Voluntary admission proceedings shall not be used for the purpose of conducting an inpatient evaluation or for a period of observation in connection with any proceedings with reference to a criminal act.

 (t)  Voluntary admission to a facility of a person charged with crime or undergoing sentence shall be in accordance with Forms MH-781-X in Appendix A and Forms MH-781-Y and MH-781-Z.

 (u)  Unauthorized absence from a mental health facility while under voluntary status.

   (1)  For those patients who have escaped from a hospital who were admitted on a voluntary status under this section no discharge is to be effected without the following specific actions being taken:

     (i)   As soon as it has been determined that a patient has left the hospital without authorization, at least the following are to be notified:

       (A)   Local and State police. The police authorities are to be advised that even though the patient was on a voluntary basis, the subject is to be apprehended and returned to the hospital since the escaped patient was admitted from a county jail or State correctional institution while awaiting trial on pending charges or while serving a sentence.

       (B)   Responsible person.

       (C)   The institution or agency having authority over the criminal status, such as, correctional institution, county jail, probation or parole departments, and the like.

       (D)   The court and district attorney’s office of the county with criminal jurisdiction, and the like, where criminal charges are pending or where sentence was imposed.

       (E)   The county administrator of the county of residence, if different from the county where the person was charged or sentenced.

       (F)   The Office of Interstate Services and Records Unit of the Office of Mental Health.

     (ii)   In the event that the patient has escaped and does not return or is not returned by others after 72 hours, the penal institution or agency from which the person was admitted on a voluntary status is to be notified right away that the hospital is discharging the subject from the rolls, and the authority over the case is being officially returned to the agency or institution. In the notification of the discharge, the hospital should:

       (A)   Advise the receiving institution or agency that the subject’s mental status has not been known during the period of escape and that following apprehension new commitment procedures would have to be initiated pursuant to the provisions of the act should the individual appear to require hospitalization.

       (B)   Send notices relating to the discharge and transfer of authority to those listed in subsection (u)(1)(i)(A)—(F).

     (iii)   All notices relating to the discharge and turning the case back to the penal authorities are to be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.

     (iv)   If the patient is returned to the hospital from escape status prior to discharge:

       (A)   The hospital is to notify all concerned in subsection (u)(1)(i)(A)—(F).

       (B)   The patient is to be evaluated to determine:

         (I)   Whether the patient should continue on voluntary status.

         (II)   Whether procedures for involuntary commitment pursuant to the act would be appropriate.

         (III)   Whether the person should be returned to the penal institution.

         (IV)   Under any of these options, the mental health facility is to be certain to keep the parties listed in subsection (u)(1)(i)(A)—(F) advised.

         (V)   In the event the hospital elects to have the person returned to the penal institution, that institution is to be advised of the number of days the person was on unauthorized absence.



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