Increased Funding for County’s Jail Based Competency Treatment Program

Increased Funding for County’s Jail Based Competency Treatment Program

San Bernardino, CA

This week, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors was asked to approve the extension of two contracts and millions of dollars in additional funding for the Jail Based Competency Treatment Program. 

The first of the two contract amendments involve the extension of an agreement with the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) from June 1 through December 31, 2017. It also increases the contract amount by more than six million dollars. The county requested an extension of its contract with Liberty Healthcare of California from June 1 through December 31, 2017, and increase its contract amount by nearly three million dollars. 

DSH is responsible for restoring competency to individuals who have been charged with a felony and determined by the courts to be incompetent to stand trial. Once an individual is committed to a DSH facility for treatment, the facility has 90 days to make a written report to the court concerning progress toward recovery of mental competence. Currently, however, DSH has insufficient beds in state hospitals, creating lengthy waiting lists of inmates in county jails who need mental competency restoration services, including those in San Bernardino County. 

In response to this need, San Bernardino County, in partnership with DSH, implemented a Jail Based Competency Treatment (JBCT) Program beginning in 2015. The JBCT Program provides the same services, but within a county jail facility. 

DHS reimburses the county for the costs associated with the designated space, personnel, and services, including medication, for patient inmates receiving treatment, regardless of the number of patient inmates admitted into the JBCT Program, and up-to the contracted 76 beds program maximum. 

In 2015, the Board approved an amendment to include participation the JBCT Program by any California county in order to maximize the usage of the available beds and services.

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