Competency Restoration in Jails: A Versatile Response to the Competency Crisis [SPONSORED]
Jails are encountering the cascading effect of the competency crisis. Defendants with severe mental illnesses or mental defects who are deemed incompetent to stand trial are experiencing long wait times, in some cases more than 12 months, for admission to state psychiatric facilities for restoration treatment. Despite advocacy groups’ litigation efforts to force government agencies to address this crisis, state agencies often lack the resources (e.g., funding, personnel) to meet dictates of consent decrees. However, through collaborations with county and state agencies, alternative solutions for competency restoration treatment can reduce the strain on state systems. While establishing a jail-based competency restoration program requires dedicated staff to ensure the separation of forensic and clinical treatment activities, services can be delivered through a variety of modalities that match the facility’s resources. This webinar highlights the essential components of a jail-based competency program and reviews the advantages and limitations of jail-based restoration treatment.
As NaphCare’s Chief Psychologist, Dr. Amber Simpler collaborates with mental health providers to improve clinical and operational processes within correctional settings and evaluates sites to assist with new initiatives, such as mental health crisis stabilization units and jail-based competency restoration programs. Dr. Simpler is a Forensic Psychologist with experience conducting evaluations of competence to stand trial, criminal responsibility, competency to waive constitutional rights and violence risk assessments in felony cases. She also collaborates with TechCare developers to design algorithms and mental health software programs.