By Associated Press - Friday, June 23, 2017

DENVER (AP) - Colorado’s state mental hospital can’t keep up with an increase in court orders for evaluations and is asking for relief from a requirement that jail inmates be evaluated within 28 days.

The Colorado Department of Human Services on Thursday asked that for the remainder of the year, it not be held to the 28-day standard that was set in settling a lawsuit filed by Disability Law Colorado, the Denver Post ( reported.

The lawsuit settlement allows the state to invoke such special circumstances.

Colorado saw a 44 percent increase in court-ordered evaluations in May compared to May 2016, Human Services Chief Medical Officer Patrick Fox said. Orders for treatment to restore a defendant’s mental health so they are able to face charges are up 89 percent compared to a year ago.

The increased orders are “straining our resources beyond the point of being able to manage it,” Fox said.

The request means some inmates, who are presumed innocent, will languish in jail without any mental health treatment until they can be admitted to the state hospital for an evaluation, said Mark Ivandick, managing attorney for Disability Law Colorado.

The state will continue to perform evaluations and begin restoration treatment as soon as it can with its current resources and constraints, Fox said. He noted that the request was not due to hospital staffing issues, but to the increased number of evaluations being ordered.

Therapists with the state Office of Behavioral Health conduct the evaluations.


Information from: The Denver Post,

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide

Sponsored Stories