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Record #: O2013-183   
Type: Ordinance Status: Failed to Pass
Intro date: 1/17/2013 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Public Safety
Final action: 5/20/2015
Title: Amendment of Municipal Code Chapter 2-84 by adding new Section 2-84-301 regarding police procedures when arrestee's mental illness is in question
Sponsors: Burke, Edward M., Balcer, James, Willie B. Cochran
Topic: MUNICIPAL CODE AMENDMENTS - Title 2 - City Government & Administration - Ch. 84 Dept. of Police
Attachments: 1. O2013-183.pdf
Related files: R2015-407
Public Safety

WHEREAS, the City of Chicago is a home rule unit of government pursuant to the 1970 Illinois Constitution, Article VII, Section 6(a); and

WHEREAS, pursuant to its home rule power, the City of Chicago may exercise any power and perform any function relating to its government and affairs including the power to regulate for the protection of the public health, safety, morals, and welfare; and

WHEREAS, a disproportionate number of individuals contending with mental illnesses are represented in the criminal justice system; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Justice reports that about 16% of the U.S. prison and jail population has a mental illness, in comparison to 5% of the general U.S. population; and

WHEREAS, Cook County Jail in Chicago, the Los Angeles County Jail, and New York City's Riker's Island, each hold more people with mental illness on a given day than any psychiatric facility in the United States; and

WHEREAS, nearly 20% of the daily general population in Cook County Jail, which houses approximately 11,000 detainees, is estimated to consist of inmates that suffer from some fonn of serious mental illness; and

WHEREAS, given the underreporting by those who are unaware of their illness or unwilling to disclose it, available statistical information understates the problem; and

WHEREAS, police officers are regularly the first to be called upon in mental health related emergencies; and

WHEREAS, police officers derive the duty and authority to effectively handle instances of mental illness in arrestees from the police power given to them to provide for protection of the public and from parens patriae authority to protect those unable to protect themselves; and

WHEREAS, advocates for the mentally ill champion efforts to divert these individuals from the criminal system into a health care system when appropriate; and

WHEREAS, police officers, as initial points of contact between the mentally ill and the criminal justice system, are...

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