Greater protections for clients of state mental hospitals have been approved by the Missouri Senate–protection from sex offenders.
For various reasons, sex offenders can wind up in mental institutions. Sometimes they are ordered there by a judge who says they should remain in state custody after finishing a prison sentence. Sometimes they are institutionalized because they have a mental impairment that keeps them from going to trial. And there are other reasons.
But sometimes the parents or guardians of those already in the institution are not told a sex offender has been placed there.
Maryville Senator Brad Lager’s proposal requires the Department of Mental Health to develop procedures to tell parents or guardians of people entering a state mental health facility to be told if a sex offender is already there, and to be notified when a sex offender is placed in that facility. The systemalso requires the department to establish ways for parents or guardians to raise concerns and seek consultation before the offender is placed.
However, the bill says the refusal of consent by the parent or guardian cannot be used to deny placement of the sex offender in the institution.
The bill is waiting for a committee hearing by the House. The provision is part of SB3. It was added as an amendment during floor debate.