Rethinking Competency to Stand Trial: A Complicated Road to Mental Health Treatment

February 17, 2021

The competency to stand trial process is designed to protect the rights of people who do not understand the charges against them and are unable to assist in their own defense. But this process has become overburdened and delayed, causing people to languish in jail while states contend with the high associated costs.

We spoke with legal and mental health experts about why this issue is so important at a time when mental health needs are climbing among Americans and state finances are significantly strained. Watch the video below, and dig deeper by checking out our recent report Just and Well: Rethinking How States Approach Competency to Stand Trial.

About the Author


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Ruvi Lopez
Public Affairs Manager, Communications and External Affairs
Ruvi Lopez manages stakeholder engagement and strategic support for the CSG Justice Center’s external affairs team. He is also responsible for media relations management, digital engagement, and supporting the development of long-range strategies to guide public affairs and communications initiatives.
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In his previous role as director of Communications for Mainland Media, Ruvi cultivated meaningful relationships with key New York stakeholders, including state and local elected officials, community advocates, and philanthropists, through coalition-building efforts to address housing, economic, and racial inequalities. Over the last 12 years, Ruvi has been a part of numerous campaigns to raise awareness for criminal justice reform and restorative justice practices across the country.
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