Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday signed into law a measure that seeks to address the circumstances that led to the death of Sandra Bland, a black woman found dead in a county jail days after being arrested during a routine traffic stop. 
The Sandra Bland Act mandates county jails divert people with mental health and substance abuse issues toward treatment, makes it easier for defendants to receive a personal bond if they have a mental illness or intellectual disability, and requires that independent law enforcement agencies investigate jail deaths. The law takes effect Sept. 1.
The law’s namesake, a 28-year-old from Illinois, died in the Waller County Jail in 2015. Her arrest followed a lengthy argument between Bland and then-Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia, which was documented by the officer’s dashboard camera.
After Bland’s death – which was ruled a suicide – her family, activists and lawmakers swiftly criticized the rural jail’s leadership …
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