Jail Wait Case Settles

Congratulations to the Mental Health Task Force on successfully settling the Jail Wait Litigation, a lawsuit that challenged the failure of the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo to provide timely competency evaluations to people awaiting trial, forcing them to remain incarcerated, frequently without medical treatment, for periods of time that often exceeded the possible sentences for their alleged crimes. On April 6, 2012, the parties signed the landmark settlement agreement that will help all individuals with mental illnesses proceed to treatment and trial. To date, it is the strictest and most comprehensive agreement in the country to help the mentally ill in jail. It requires the State to evaluate or begin treatment of anyone who is presumptively incompetent within 28 days of receiving a court order to do so and to submit monthly reports of their progress. The agreement will be phased in over the next 15 months, though the Federal District Court will maintain jurisdiction over the case for up to 10 years. Click here to see the settlement agreement. Many congratulations to the team!

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