The Pueblo Chieftain: Addressing the bottleneck at CMHIP
Author: The Pueblo Chieftain Editorial Board - November 21, 2018 - Updated: November 21, 2018
An unfavorable court ruling isn’t always a bad thing. At least, it might not be for the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.
A few days ago, a federal judge in Denver ruled that the Colorado Department of Human Services, which oversees CMHIP, wasn’t performing mental competency evaluations for jail inmates at a fast enough rate. Magistrate Judge Nina Wang said she’ll make a decision, possibly later this month, on the steps needed to bring the department into compliance with the law.
Jail inmates have been forced to remain in custody while waiting to be evaluated to determine if they are mentally competent to stand trial. Since suspects are deemed innocent until proven guilty, they shouldn’t be detained in jails for long periods of time.