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Forensic Populations Law Response

Forensic Populations Law Response

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In Wyoming, we have an Emergency Detention Process. Under the emergency detention process, a police officer or examiner can detain a person reasonably thought to be a danger to themselves or others or who cannot meet basic needs due to mental illness. Under statute 25-10-109 of Wyoming, the individual has been taken into custody at a hospital or suitable facility appropriate under the circumstances. Under the Wyoming state statute 25-10-109, the person can not be held at a jail or criminal detention center except in extreme emergencies or if no reasonable alternative is available.   Within the first 24 hours, a statement has to be written by the person responsible for the detainment, with a copy given to the person. The person detained Will have a preliminary assessment. This must be scheduled within 24 hours and conducted by a licensed health or mental health professional. If the findings are not a mental illness or a danger to self or others, the person must be released; if the assessment finds the person is mentally ill and a danger to self or others, they will be temporarily detained for a period no longer than 72 hours excluding the weekend and legal holidays. If the person held for the 72 hours hearing must occur, this must be completed on time. If the court finds that the detained individual is not mentally ill, the person will be released; if the courts agree, the person will have a court order to be detained for no more than ten days. The detained person will get the help they need instead of going to jail; there is no cost to the person, so they can focus on getting better, not on the money it will cost them.

The person can get the medical care they could need while getting other needs met, coping skills, and other valuable resources to know what to do or where to go if they find themselves in this situation again. The example, I have a cousin that is a drug user. He has used meth so much and stayed up so long that he has made himself schizophrenic; he is unsafe to place in jail; it is safer to place him in a hospital-like setting that is like jail for his safety while getting the medical and mental attention he needs.

These laws would support my professional goals by helping with the rehabilitation side of the criminal justice side and combining mental health needs with the system. Police officers are not trained to know mental illness; they are trained to respond; having mental health counselors join forces with law enforcement can help bridge the gap between who needs to go to jail and who needs to go on a 72-hour hold.

The second law found for Wyoming was statute 35-22-301 through 35-22-308 for Psychiatric Advance Directives. Psychiatric Advance Directive allows people to make advanced treatment decisions while they are stable and able to make a treatment decision; this guides their treatment should the person become unstable. The focus of the law is on the stabilization of the person and restoration to competence.

It gives the personal dignity to still care for themselves while reassuring them that what they want to be done will be followed through.

How it would impact me in my profession is I would know what my patient would want, I can give respect to my client by helping them fill out the paperwork and helping them process the wants and needs they require, and ensure that they are followed through at a stage of instability.


 Wyoming Department of Health (2023) Emergency Detention Process retrieved from https://health.wyo.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Emergency-Detention-Process_RHW.pdfLinks to an external site.

Wyoming Department of Health (2023) Mental Health and Substance use Treatment Service, retrieved from https://health.wyo.gov/behavioralhealth/mhsa/mental-health-crisis/Links to an external site..