State officials say they can't obey a court order forcing them to move more than 150 mentally incompetent prisoners to psychiatric hospitals by June 1 because they don't have enough space, staff or money to do so.
The Texas attorney general's office has asked Austin-based state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo to review her January decision forcing the Department of State Health Services to start moving all current "forensic commitments" to state psychiatric hospitals by June 1. All such prisoners who arrive after that date would have to be moved to a psychiatric hospital within 21 days of a judge's order. Forensic patients are people accused of crimes who have been deemed incompetent to stand trial because of mental illness.
Complying with the court order would cost between $39 million and $55.2 million, according to a motion for a new trial filed by the attorney general's office this month.See prior, related Grits posts:
"The short timelines set forth in the court's order makes it physically, fiscally and logistically impossible for DSHS to comply and indicates a lack of appreciation for the magnitude of the task and the complications inherent in implementing the terms of the order," the state wrote in its motion.
The attorney general has also appealed the ruling with the state's 3rd Court of Appeals.
- BSG (Broke State Goverment) seeking forensic mental health beds
- Grits commenter played role initiating lawsuit over timely competency restoration
- Judge: State mental hospitals must take incompetent inmates within 21 days
- 'Neither punished nor treated, just jailed'
- Growth in forensic commitments exacerbates shortage of state mental hospital beds
- Judge orders state hospital to take more competency restoration patients
- Competency restoration process sounds crazy to columnist
- Few bills proposed at Lege to remedy statewide crisis in competency restoration
- Harris County pleads case for mental health, probation/diversion funds in state budget
- Jail deaths implicate state oversight, competency restoration funding
- Mental health cuts by state would shift costs to local jails, emergency rooms
- 'Harris County jail not the place to treat mental illness'
- The making of an unfunded mandate: Cuts to mental health would dump costs on county jails
- Cuts to state mental hospitals would be massive unfunded mandate for county jails
- Mentally ill languish in Bexar jail awaiting assessment, competency restoration
- Cuts to state mental health treatment would shift costs to local jails
- Cutting state psych hospital budgets could backfire
- Legislature's underspending on competency restoration beds creates havoc
- Priorities: Mentally incompetent inmates languishing in Texas county jails
- 75-year old mentally incompetent grandmother stranded in Lufkin jail most of 2006
- Legislature should prioritize mental health funding that relieves local jails
- Chincy state hospital funding leaves mentally incompetent defendants stranded
- Unfunded mandate: Counties struggle to pay for mentally incompetent defendants' care
- More counties grumbling at backlog of incompetent defendants in county jails