No person should be sent to prison when they have not been convicted of a crime and need medical care – but LD 2046 would do exactly that.

LD 2046 would make permanent a policy to incarcerate people whom the state would otherwise admit to Riverview Psychiatric Facility when hospital beds are full. A prison is not a substitute for a hospital, and this legislation would imprison people who have not been found guilty of committing a crime.

LD 2046 would erode the principle that we are all presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. When some people are found incompetent to stand trial, they are institutionalized at Riverview Psychiatric Facility.

In 2013, the legislature temporarily allowed Riverview to transfer patients to the Department of Corrections due to a shortage of beds. This policy has been extended several times, and now lawmakers are attempting to make it permanent.  

When hospital beds are full, the state must find other health care alternatives and consider why it is entangling so many people in the legal system. A prison will never be a hospital and an innocent person should never be incarcerated.


Bill Movement:

This bill originated at the end of 2023, moving into the Second Regular Session of the 131st Legislature.

  • Bill printed: 12/13/2023
  • Public hearing in committee: 1/17/24
  • Work session and vote in committee: 1/24/2024
    • 8 members voted "ought to pass"
    • 5 members voted "ought to pass as amended"
  • House vote: N/A
  • Senate vote: N/A
  • Action by governor: N/A

Sponsors

Representative Suzanne M. Salisbury

Status

Active

Session

The Second Regular Session of the 131st Legislature

Bill number

Position

Oppose

ACLU of Maine Policy Counsel Michael Kebede delivered testimony to the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety on January 17, 2024, during the Second Regular Session of the 131st Legislature.