Competency courts: a creative solution for restoring competency to the competency process

Michael J Finkle, Russell Kurth, Christopher Cadle, Jessica Mullan
Behavioral Sciences & the Law 2009, 27 (5): 767-86
It is well accepted that jail is a poor setting for treating the acutely mentally ill, yet the number of mentally ill persons in jail has increased such that Los Angeles County Jail and Riker's Island in New York house more mentally ill than any psychiatric hospital. The number of mentally ill persons charged with a crime whose competency to stand trial is in question has also increased dramatically. Inefficiencies within the competency process result in mentally ill persons charged with crimes remaining in jail longer than necessary. One solution is "competency court", a specialty court within a mental health court. The same judges, attorneys, and mental health professionals staff both courts. By combining their Mental Health Court experience, they can work with the mentally ill using their expertise in competency law and processes, and thereby improve the competency process and reduce the unnecessary time that mentally ill persons spend in jail.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"