Investigation: police records of 1013 transports Trigger warning: Suicidal ideation, mental health

In conversations about mental healthcare, you might have heard about 1013 forms, which can involve law enforcement; in other states they might be called something else, like a 5150 in California.

In Georgia, the signing of a form 1013 allows licensed mental health professionals to mandate that a patient be examined by another specialist. The requisites for doing so are twofold in that a patient must be both “mentally ill” by Georgia’s legal definition, and they must also be in imminent danger of causing harm to themselves or others (or, in some cases, unable to care for their own safety). The state designates only certain mental hospitals as “emergency receiving facilities,” or ERFs, that can evaluate 1013 cases. Those ERFs could also provide inpatient care; the Ridgeview Institute, for example, serves both functions.

A 1013 form is a transport document that allows law enforcement to bring a patient before another professional for further evaluation within 48 hours of signing the document. It does not commit, imprison, or otherwise forcibly administer treatment to a patient. A patient can be involuntarily transported under a 1013 and still be cooperative, and hypothetically they could be assessed at the ERF and found to not need further treatment.

The first step for the Technique to pull these records was to comb through GTPD’s non-crime logs, which are public and online here. This is what they look like, and we’ve outlined a report with the keywords we searched for:

We went through all of the logs from Feb. 2018 through Feb. 2019 and requested all of the reports labeled as “Involuntary Transports,” as well as two logs we knew to involve transports that were not labeled as such (more on that later). There were initially 21 of these, two of which turned out to be medical emergencies handled by EMS; so, from this initial request, we had 19 involuntary transports in the span of a year.

Here’s the first page of the report we highlighted above. This time, we’ve circled some of the information that we used in our data analyses:

We also pulled data from the subsequent pages of the reports, also known as the “narratives.” These narratives could provide valuable insight into why a student was being 1013-ed, but were inconsistent in their level of detail.

Here are two narratives that provided context for the students’ degree of crisis — they articulated a desire to harm themselves, and a plan to do so.

Other reports mentioned past (sometimes recent) suicide attempts.

Note in this report that the officer uses the phrase “involuntar[ily] admitted,” which misconstrues the purpose of the 1013 form — it is a transport form for evaluation, not involuntary commitment.

Most reports listed evidence of articulated risk — such as “history of depression” or “desire to self harm.” Of 12 total transports from GT Counseling, four listed no context for the 1013; none of the seven transports from Stamps Psychiatry had such a gap. It should be noted that the text of the GTPD report does not necessarily reflect the content of the 1013 forms themselves.

Here’s an example of a report that does not mention context for the 1013.

The Technique came across two reports that involved the use of handcuffs in taking 1013-ed students into custody. One of these is below.

The other transport involving handcuffs was a multi-hour affair; GTPD was initially dispatched to locate the student at his residence hall, only to later locate and take him into custody at GT Counseling.

Not all involuntary transports were labeled as such. GTPD changed their labeling protocols for these reports in June 2018 in such a way that there have certainly been more transports than labeled as such on the non-crime logs. The “Mental Health Issue or Concern” label was implemented as a means to more clearly track mental health incidents on campus, which previously might have been labeled more generally — i.e., “sick person” or “involuntary transport.” See an example below.

According to Institute Director of Media Relations Lance Wallace the department now prefers that all such reports use the “Mental Health Issue or Concern” label. Wallace says reports still labeled “involuntary transport,” like those the Technique requested, are “a function of the reporting officer choosing to describe it that way despite the availability of and the department's preference for the new label.”

The Technique is aware of two involuntary transports from the past year involving a 1013 form but labeled as “Mental Health Issue or Concern” and has included those transports in this analysis. There were 12 other "Mental Health Issue or Concern" records filed from Stamps Psychiatry or GT Counseling from June 2018 through Feb. 2019 that could conceivably have involved mental health transports; given that, the actual number of involuntary transports may be 31 or greater.

NOTE: While GTPD automatically redacts identifying information for students, the Technique has taken the further step of redacting identifying information for counselors, psychiatrists, and GTPD officers in order to emphasize the content of these reports.

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