Reform of Colorado courts’ competency system on chopping block at statehouse, supporters say

April 19, 2024

By: Shelly Bradbury

Criminal prosecutions are paused while defendants go through treatment designed to restore them to competency. If a person is restored, the prosecution can proceed; if a person can’t recover, the criminal charges must be dismissed.

“Right now the highest cost of what is happening around competency is paid in human suffering,” said Lauren Snyder, vice president of government affairs at Mental Health Colorado. “That to me should be a priority for our state in making sure we are not letting people languish in jail who are there just because they have a mental health condition.”

The state has poured money into the competency system in recent years, including $68 million that Gov. Jared Polis asked for in the 2024-2025 budget to increase competency bed capacity. That money isn’t available to fund the proposed diversion program, Amabile said.

Read the full article in The Denver Post