The Massachusetts Legislature is considering whether to give more information to victims of offenders deemed not guilty by reason of insanity.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan testified in favor of the bill at a public hearing on Tuesday. She told a story about a mentally ill resident who broke into a house next door to his facility and attacked the homeowner. He was deemed incompetent to stand trial and then, with no prior notification, was returned to the same group home next door to the victim.

“Not a good safety plan either for the people living next door, or living on that street, or to the individual himself given the reaction of the neighborhood based on what happened,” she said.

Proposed legislation would notify the victim and the victim’s family of any hearings concerning their  perpetrator deemed not guilty by reasons of mental illness or not competent to stand trial.  The victims would also be notified when the perpetrator is about to be transferred or released.

Christine Griffin of the Disability Law Center of Massachusetts said if victims are notified it can be difficult to get someone released from a mental facility, even if they no longer pose a risk.

“At what point does someone get to start their life over," she asked. "At what point does someone get to actually get to actually go get a job, go live somewhere, if everybody gets notified, what happens to you as a person?"

The bill is now pending before the Joint Committee on Mental Health.