Consultant To Ensure Colorado Inmates Don’t Languish In Jail

A newly reached settlement requires an independent consultant to ensure that Colorado inmates don't languish in local jails without mental competency exams.

The agreement comes after an advocacy group sued the Colorado Department of Human Services, saying it violated a 2012 settlement by allowing a growing list of inmates waiting for court-ordered services. The Disability Law Center said at one point least 100 inmates were waiting weeks or months to be seen.

The department said earlier this year that it had eliminated the backlog with increases in staff and other changes.

The agreement requires the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo to admit inmates within 28 days after a judge orders a competency exam or rules an inmate is incompetent to stand trial.

The consultant will review reports and visit facilities, among other duties.