Senate Bill 17

Governor Justice signed into law Senate Bill 17 relating to probation eligibility. The significant change adds the option of a psychological study and diagnosis to those persons charged with a sex offense seeking eligibility for probation. The original language in the code stated: “such person shall only be eligible for probation after undergoing a physical, mental, and psychiatric study and diagnosis which shall include an ongoing treatment plan requiring active participation in sexual abuse counseling at a mental health facility or through some other approved program.” The language now reads (changes are indicated in italics): that a person “may only be eligible for probation after undergoing a physical, mental, and psychiatric or psychological study and diagnosis…” The bill now also includes offenses in §61-8A-1 (preparation, distribution, or exhibition of obscene matter to minors) to the list of offenses for which such examinations are required for probation eligibility. The bill is effective from the date of passage, January 29, 2019.

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