Competency Restoration versus Psychiatric Treatment

The process of competency restoration may be unfamiliar to most, but it is an important one because it overlaps the mental health treatment system and the criminal justice system. It is a process that we highlighted in our report, Emptying the 'New Asylums', because there is a tremendous backlog of people in jails who require competency restoration – that is, people with mental illnesses acute enough to be unable to face their charges. This backlog is a symptom of a terrible public health crisis, reflecting both an inadequate and misdirected treatment system and an unjust criminal justice system. Read more