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‘Eliminate the Wait’ campaign aims to help those declared incompetent to stand trial

The Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health and Health and Human Services Commission created a toolkit to “Eliminate the Wait” for competency restoration services.
JCMH and HHSC created a toolkit to “Eliminate the Wait” for competency restoration services.
JCMH and HHSC created a toolkit to “Eliminate the Wait” for competency restoration services.(Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health)
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:29 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - A person must be competent to stand trial to protect the rights of people who do not understand the charges against them and cannot assist in their own defense.

Like other states across the U.S., Texas faces a growing number of people who are waiting in jail for inpatient services because they have been declared incompetent to stand trial. This increases costs and burdens on county jails and takes a significant toll on the health and well-being of those who are waiting in jail for these inpatient competency restoration services.

According to the Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health and Health and Human Services Commission, there are currently more than 1,900 people waiting in Texas jails for competency restoration services. That’s why the JCMH and HHSC created a toolkit with strategies to help eliminate the wait for inpatient competency restoration services in Texas.

You can find the toolkit here.

These organizations are calling on judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, sheriffs and jail staff, police, and behavioral health providers to join the effort to change the way Texas serves people at the intersection of mental health and criminal justice.

“The Eliminate the Wait campaign is focused on bringing together all of the professionals who may have an influence on this,” Kristi Taylor, JCMH Executive Director said. “Small changes in jails, and in courtrooms, can add up to big changes for the state overall.”

To learn more about how the JCMH is moving the Eliminate the Wait campaign forward, watch the interview below:

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