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Families accuse state of failing to hospitalize mentally ill defendants

Families accuse state of failing to hospitalize mentally ill defendants

Several family members of accused criminals who were held in jail after being ruled incompetent to stand trial are suing the state of California over lengthy delays in placing the defendants in state hospital beds. Felony defendants who a judge deems incompetent because of mental illness or developmental disabilities are supposed to go to a state hospital for treatment and training until they can understand the charges against them and help an attorney prepare a defense. But in practice, those suspects often spend months, or even years, waiting in jail for a hospital bed to open up, while the criminal proceedings are put on hold. State officials have contended...

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