More than a decade later, we’re still fighting jail delays.

Oregon State Hospital entrance

Oregon Advocacy Center v. Mink (2003) is a landmark civil rights case that upheld the rights of people with mental illness in jail. (Oregon Advocacy Center was our previous name.)

The decision requires the state hospital to accept people found unable to aid and assist in their criminal defense within 7 days of that determination. The federal district court found that Oregon detainees found unable to aid and assist their counsel waited in jail an average of roughly 32 days for transport to the state hospital.

Today, more than a decade and a half later, that number is 24.

We’re very concerned about delays in accessing competency restoration services.

For people with mental illness, jail is the worst place in the world to be. People can fall apart in jail pretty quickly. Solitary is the default placement in jail for people with mental health issues. Jails don’t have staffing or structured treatment.

Yesterday, we filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case of four people with mental illnesses held in jail for weeks longer than permitted by law while awaiting treatment at the state psychiatric hospital.

You can read our court filing here: Amicus memorandum.

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