Cushing Outlines Bill to Build New Secure Psychiatric Unit
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It wasn’t the first time that state Rep. Renny Cushing outlined legislation to stop New Hampshire from housing civilly committed mentally ill people at the state prison for men, but on Wednesday he found his most receptive audience to date.
Speaking in favor of House Bill 726, the Hampton Democrat told the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee that it’s time to turn the Secure Psychiatric Unit at the men’s prison over to the control of the Department of Health and Human Services as outlined in his bill.
And to require its commissioner to oversee planning and building a new secure multi-purpose forensic psychiatric hospital, one Gov. Chris Sununu has already expressed interest in funding.
“Over the past decade there have been numerous pieces of legislation dealing with the Secure Psychiatric Unit,” said Cushing, who chairs the committee. “None have been acted upon.”