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

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.
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