§ 40.1-25-1. Right of access.
(a) Any facility rendering care or treatment to a mentally ill individual as defined in § 40.1-25-2 shall permit the protection and advocacy system established by 42 U.S.C. § 10801 et seq., and its designees as certified by that agency, whose purposes include rendering assistance without charge to mentally ill individuals to have access to a facility in order to:
(1) Communicate privately by mail or orally with any person in treatment.
(2) Inspect all records relating to persons in treatment, provided that the person in treatment or his or her guardian gives written permission.
(3) Take whatever steps are appropriate, including posting notice, to see that persons are made aware of the services of the protection and advocacy system, its purpose, and how it can be contacted. Officials in charge of each facility shall cooperate with the protection and advocacy system in this respect.
(4) Take such action as it deems appropriate to protect the rights of those criminally insane patients included within the forensic unit of the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals and those previously considered to be within the authority of the Interstate Compact on the Mentally Disordered Offender.
(5) Have access to policies, rules, and regulations affecting care, rights, or responsibilities of individuals residing therein.
(6) Investigate incidents of abuse and neglect of mentally ill individuals if incidents are reported to the system or if there is probable cause to believe the incidents occurred.
(P.L. 1988, ch. 275, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 326, § 142.)