DENVER (AP) – An advocacy group says at least 100 inmates are languishing in local jails without mental health evaluations or treatment because officials are refusing to quickly admit them to the state mental hospital.
The Disability Law Center said in a court filing Wednesday that the state is violating a federal court settlement requiring the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo to admit inmates within 28 days after a judge orders a competency exam or rules an inmate is incompetent to stand trial. The organization says mentally ill inmates are waiting more than 90 days to be seen, sometimes longer than they would be in jail if they pleaded guilty and served their sentence.
Inmates are reoffending or harming themselves while they wait.
Department of Human Services spokeswoman Alicia Caldwell declined to comment.
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