Over the past eight years, many people contact me from all over the country, inquiring about Involuntary Commitment or Civil Commitment Laws.
In Indiana, I get weekly emails asking how to use The Jennifer Act in Indiana.
**In Indiana, please click on this link to read a description and FAQ about The Jennifer Act (HB1448) in Indiana:
Indiana has an Involuntary Commitment Code. However, it is difficult to utilize for families in a life and death crisis of a family member’s substance addiction. This is why I worked with Indiana Lawmakers to improve this process to assist families in crisis. Indiana State Representative Steve Davisson drafted The Jennifer Act (HB1448) and it passed and was signed into law, July, 2015 by Governor Mike Pence.
That being said, we did not get all of the bill language we drafted, we did get parts of it passed.
(**Click on the link above to read the bill synopsis and function).
It was my hope and prayer to make amendments to the enhance the flow of the civil commitment process for those families who fear death is imminent of a child or loved one due to their downward spiraling, self destructive chronic substance addiction use.
I also drafted similar legislation to improve Florida’s Involuntary Commitment process the (Marchman Act) and worked with Florida State Representative Chris Latvala, Senator Jack Latvala. All of our bill language did not make it through the legislative committees but we did get some language amended to Florida Senate Bill 12- Authored by Florida Senator Garcia in 2016. To read Florida Governor Rick Scott’s letter to me:
**Click on this link:
I address improving legislation after 5 failed attempts to use Florida’s Marchman Act for crisis intervention for my daughter, Jennifer, who suffered from a chronic substance use disorder/chronic addiction to prescription pain medication, which evolved at times into a heroin addiction. I knew Jennifer would die without emergency intervention and the courts help. For over a decade, I fought to gain long term, court ordered residential substance treatment. Her addiction was chronic and severe and I knew she would die without this intervention and expressed that with several Florida Judges in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Hardee counties. Sadly, Jennifer lost her life to her disease, January 15, 2009 in Largo, Florida.
** Jennifer was a mother to her only son, Trey in Pinellas County, FL. Due to Jennifer’s addiction, she was not able to parent her son. In Pinellas County, I was court appointed, legal guardian for Trey his first 5 years of life. He now resides with his father,(a Tampa Attorney) who has denied Trey any visitation or contact with his natural maternal grandparents since Nov.2008. After Jennifer died, he removed Trey from his maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and great-grandparents. Addiction is a family disease. -Everyone suffers- even innocent children.
I have lobbied Florida Senator Darryl Rouson to amend his Florida bill (HB149) to allow grandparents visitation rights who have been court appointed legal guardians for their grandchildren. My story was covered by Tampa television station WFLA Channel 8 News in 2014 by News Journalist- Mark Douglas.
For those who ask me; “How can we help you”? I would suggest that you call, email and personally visit your district state Senators and State Representatives and share my website with them and ask them to contact me to work on legislation or improve current legislation in your state.
Founder of The Jennifer Act
In memory of Jennifer Marie Reynolds