Nebraska Revised Statute 83-180
Physician or psychologist; designation; duties; transfer of person committed; jurisdiction; release; conditions; director; duties.
(1) When a physician designated by the Director of Correctional Services finds that a person committed to the department suffers from a physical disease or defect, or when a physician or psychologist designated by the director finds that a person committed to the department is mentally ill as defined in section 71-907, the chief executive officer of the facility may order such person to be segregated from other persons in the facility in the least restrictive manner possible. If the physician or psychologist is of the opinion that the person cannot be given proper treatment in that facility, the director may arrange for his or her transfer for examination, study, and treatment to any medical-correctional facility or to another institution in the Department of Health and Human Services where proper treatment is available. A person who is so transferred shall remain subject to the jurisdiction and custody of the Department of Correctional Services and shall be returned to the department when, prior to the expiration of his or her sentence, treatment in such facility is no longer necessary.
(2) When the physician or psychologist designated by the Director of Correctional Services finds that a person committed to the department suffers from a physical disease or defect or mental illness which in his or her opinion cannot be properly treated in any facility or institution in the Department of Health and Human Services, the director may arrange for his or her transfer for treatment to a hospital or psychiatric facility outside the department. The director shall make appropriate arrangements with other public or private agencies for the transportation to, and for the care, custody, and security of the person in, such hospital or psychiatric facility. While receiving treatment in such hospital or psychiatric facility, the person shall remain subject to the jurisdiction and custody of the Department of Correctional Services and shall be returned to the department when, prior to the expiration of his or her sentence, such hospital or psychiatric treatment is no longer necessary.
(3) The director shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to establish evidence-based criteria which the department shall use to identify any person nearing release who should be evaluated to determine whether he or she is a mentally ill and dangerous person as defined in section 71-908. When two psychiatrists designated by the director find that a person about to be released or discharged from any facility is a mentally ill and dangerous person as defined in section 71-908, the director shall transfer him or her to, or if he or she has already been transferred, permit him or her to remain in, a psychiatric facility in the Department of Health and Human Services and shall promptly commence proceedings under the Nebraska Mental Health Commitment Act.
(4) The director shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for risk assessment and management for inmates. Such rules and regulations shall establish a structured decisionmaking process that is consistent with professional standards of care and is consistent with available risk assessment and management guidelines. The process developed shall be performed by individuals with proper training and continuing education related to relevant areas of risk assessment and management. Appropriate quality assurance and outcome assessment shall be included to ensure fidelity to the process and address relevant challenges. The rules and regulations shall establish a rational process for prioritizing who shall be screened and evaluated and when, which shall include, but not be limited to: Incidents of violent activity during incarceration; attempts of suicide or other major self-harm behaviors; and a process for staff to nominate inmates for screening based upon behavior that raises concern for community safety as release approaches.
(5) The director shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to ensure that all persons who are incarcerated receive a full mental health screening within the first two weeks of intake to determine whether or not an inmate is mentally ill as defined in section 71-907. Such determination shall be reflected in the inmate's individualized treatment plan and shall include adequate mental health treatment. If, at any point during his or her incarceration, an inmate is found to be mentally ill, such determination shall be reflected in the inmate's individualized treatment plan and shall include adequate mental health treatment.
- Laws 1969, c. 817, § 11, p. 3078;
- Laws 1996, LB 1044, § 924;
- Laws 2015, LB598, § 25.
- Nebraska Mental Health Commitment Act, see section 71-901.
Failure to return to a hospital after a temporary leave constitutes an escape from custody. State v. Mayes, 190 Neb. 837, 212 N.W.2d 623 (1973).
In order for application of this section to be constitutional, a prisoner must be provided, prior to transfer, with written notice, a hearing before an independent factfinder, qualified independent assistance at the hearing, a written decision, and notice of the above rights. Vitek v. Jones, 445 U.S. 480 (1980).
Involuntary transfer of prisoner into more controlled confinement, for those mentally diseased or defective, requires transferee be afforded due process of notice, hearing, counsel, and confrontation of witnesses. Miller v. Vitek 437 F.Supp. 569 (D. Neb. 1977).