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Sep 11, 2011 12:09 PM by Trovette Tottress

Delays in state mental health evaluation

DENVER (AP) - A group of attorneys is asking a judge to order the state to shorten wait times for mental health evaluations. A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver claims the state is warehousing mentally ill detainees in county jails and alleges civil rights violations because of the wait at the Colorado Mental health Institute in Pueblo.

The Denver Post reports the lawsuit follows a similar one in 2006 that resulted in the state adding 200 more beds to provide court-ordered services and detainees being transferred from jails to the hospital within 28 days. Mental health advocates claim wait times have increased since 2009, when an order in that lawsuit expired. Court ordered mental health evaluations and admissions have more than doubled to 1,062 and 214, respectively, in 10 years.

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