In January 2016, the Department of Human Services of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania entered an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to reduce the jail waitlists for competency to stand trial restoration. The court approved ACLU’s request for an independent study to offer recommendations to reduce the waitlists for competency restoration. Policy Research Associates, Inc. was selected for this, and this report was the result of it. The framework for this study was based on the belief that solving the Waitlist problem involved:

  1. Moving defendants who did not need to be there out of forensic restoration beds;
  2. Using multiple mechanisms to remove defendants on the Waitlist whose competency could be restored without using Norristown State Hospital (NSH)/Torrance State Hospital (TSH) beds; and
  3. Reducing the inappropriate use of IST evaluations and restorations for defendants whose mental health and criminal justice issues could be addressed by appropriate screening, assessment, and treatment in community-based options outside of the criminal justice system.

Reducing the Pennsylvania Incompetency to Stand Trial Restoration Waitlist: More than Just Beds is a report written by Henry Steadman, Ph.D. and Lisa Callahan, Ph.D, of Policy Research Associates. The report delves into the methodology, the analysis, and in-depth explanation regarding the recommendations to this problem.

  • Associated Mappings:
    • Competence to Stand Trial

This resource was first shared in 2017.