This week the Texas Senate gave the nod to new legislation known as the Sandra Bland Act, named for the black woman who was found hanged in a cell while in police custody two years ago.
As The Texas Tribune reports, the bill would require county jails to send people with mental health crises and substance abuse issues to treatment, rather than simply jailing them. The proposed law would also mandate that county jails install electronic sensors or cameras to monitor inmates and prevent future suicides. The bill calls for training of officers, in how to limit the use of force and how to recognize when their actions may be the result of subconscious biases. Finally, the bill would only allow police to search a car after they’ve received verbal and written consent from a suspect.
This is the latest version of a bill that’s seen many iterations in both the House and Senate.