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New Rules Would Allow Longer Forced Holds in Washington State

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – A proposal to loosen detention rules in Washington’s involuntary treatment act has divided rights groups and mental health advocates in Olympia.

The bill, from Democratic Redmond Sen. Manka Dhingra, would allow people having a mental health or drug crisis to be held for up to five days before seeing a judge, putting Washington among the states with the longest holds nationwide.

Advocates voiced their positions at a public hearing for the bill Thursday, likely one of the last before lawmakers decide whether to schedule the bill for a full vote of the state House.

While supporters called the changes beneficial, and said extended holds would give more time for treatment, groups including the state’s disability rights watchdog have objected.



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