Colorado has the nation’s third-longest waitlist for people charged with crimes and ordered into psychiatric treatment
January 24, 2024
By: Jennifer Brown
But private hospitals typically do not take patients who have been ordered into treatment through the criminal justice system. And private hospitals often do not take people with the most severe behavioral problems or those who cannot pay, which means state hospitals are sometimes the only option.
Mental Health Colorado president Vincent Atchity called on Colorado to “disentangle” mental health care from the criminal justice system.
“The number of people being held in Colorado jails when they should be getting health care is an unacceptable tragedy,” he said. “Not only are their rights being violated, but over-incarceration and this competency backlog create a devastating domino effect of unmet health needs as many Coloradans cycle through jails, homelessness, crisis centers, and ERs without ever getting the care they need to stabilize.”