Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 October 2021
State psychiatric hospitals face increasing referrals for the evaluation and restoration of individuals whose mental health symptoms render them incompetent to stand trial (IST). As referrals can overwhelm capacity for admission, state hospitals at times are unable to admit IST patients in a timely fashion. The resulting use of “waitlists” have the undesirable consequence of forcing symptomatic individuals to endure long waits (while jailed) for admission to a psychiatric hospital. These long wait times have been determined to be unconstitutional, resulting in litigation against the responsible state mental health authorities. Unfortunately, available options to expedite hospital admission of these IST patients can have significant clinical and economic consequences.
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