Emergency Custody Orders (ECOs) have been a topic of great concern in Texas. A new bill is pending in the Senate to address these issues. Senate Bill 202 is intended to furnish a study that will look at new ways to create alternative custody arrangements. This will affect people who are being held under ECOs.
The new bill reduces burdens on officers
Custody issues for people who suffer from mental health issues have always been a source of controversy. The new bill is designed to ease the burdens on officers who have to monitor people being held under ECOs and Temporary Detention Orders (TDOs). Finding new custody methods for these individuals will let officers return to their more normal duties.
Under current ECO and TDO regulations, law officers are sometimes compelled to sit with a patient for hours or even days. In some states, roughly 40 people a week are placed on ECO and TDO restrictions. This can lead to a strain on the resources of the local police department whose officers are needed elsewhere.
Lack of treatment options is a major issue
Experts agree that many of the issues related to ECOs has to do with the lack of viable treatment options. All too many people who are suffering from serious mental health issues are unable to get treatment in state hospitals or other facilities. This is partly due to a lack of knowledge of where to turn to. It is also traceable to serious staffing issues that exist in these facilities.
One of the purposes of Senate Bill 202 is to open up a number of relevant avenues to allow people in this type of situation to get the help they need. The study that the bill proposes may lead to some useful new breakthroughs.