KEVIN'S LAW

On March 30, 2005, Kevin's Law took effect. It allows judges to order outpatient treatment for people with untreated severe mental illnesses who meet specific criteria, including a recent history of hospitalizations, incarcerations, or behavior dangerous to themselves or others because of their illness. The law is actually a group of four Public Acts of 2004, numbers 496, 497, 498 and 499, that were signed into law by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in December 2004. Forty-two (42) states allow the use of this effective treatment mechanism, known as assisted outpatient treatment (AOT).

Kevin's Law is named after Kevin Heisinger, who on Aug. 17, 2000, was on a bus home to Chicago from orientation at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. he was beaten to death by Brian Williams of Yspilanti, then 40, in the men's rest room of the Kalamazoo bus station. Williams, who was not taking medication, said that voices made him beat the young man to death. He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was a teenager.