Just and Well: Rethinking How States Approach Competency to Stand Trial

Just and Well: Rethinking How States Approach Competency to Stand Trial

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 across the country, this process has become increasingly overburdened and delayed, causing people to languish in jail while states contend with the high associated costs. Seeking solutions to these serious challenges, the organizational co-authors of this report gathered a group of national advisors to find a way forward. This report outlines the 10 most effective strategies state officials can pursue to improve the competency to stand trial process. Its recommendations represent a consensus view of what competency to stand trial should ideally look like. Photo credit: Image by Rawpixel from Envato.

Hallie Fader-Towe and Ethan Kelly | October 2020 | The Council of State Government Justice Center, American Psychiatric Association Foundation, Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative

ABOUT THE AUTHORS


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Hallie Fader-Towe
Program Director, Behavioral Health
Hallie Fader-Towe works with local and state policymakers to craft policies, processes, and programs that will work best for their jurisdictions. In her positions with the CSG Justice Center, she has worked with jurisdictions around the country on collaborative, data-driven
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planning and implementation efforts to address criminal justice functions from initial detention through reentry, including a focus on people with mental illnesses. She has also managed the development of training materials on mental health courts and on judicial responses to the prevalence of individuals with mental illnesses involved with the criminal justice system. She has written on dispute systems design for state trial courts, pretrial responses to people with mental illnesses, information sharing between criminal justice and mental health systems, and mental health court design and implementation. Before joining the CSG Justice Center, she was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in New York. Hallie received a BA from Brown University and a JD from Harvard Law School.
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    Ethan Kelly
    Policy Analyst, Behavioral Health
    Ethan Kelly provides technical assistance to grantees working with people who have co-occurring substance addictions and mental illnesses and are involved in the criminal justice system. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Ethan was a clinical supervisor and trainer
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    for behavioral health/criminal justice programs, managing a pretrial mental health program and providing trainings on mental health, critical incident stress management, and criminogenic risk. He earned his BSW from Southern Connecticut State University and his MSW from Fordham University.
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