Thursday, January 8, 2009

Outpatient Competency Restoration Pilots

The Outpatient Competency Restoration (OCR) pilots were launched by Department of State Health Services (DSHS) earlier this year in response to Senate Bill 867, 80th Legislature which amended Article 46B, Code of Criminal Procedure, in many respects to explicitly allow for outpatient competency restoration of defendants who have been determined by the court not to be a danger to others (see CCP, Art. 46B.072(a) ). Funding was awarded for pilot sites for OCR in selected areas where the Mental Health Authority and local judiciary have partriered together for this unique concept in competency restoration. OCR programming and curricula were modeled after successful OCR programs in other states.


Hastonorwood said...

El Paso sought a grant for an outpatient competency restoration program and were denied funding. Houston was given a grant and then rejected it. When El Paso thereafter sought the funds that Houston turned down as too little, El Paso was told by DHS that the money was not available.

We needed funding because we have a large mental health disorder population, in part the result of an excellent climate year round and our location on I-10.

Moreover, we have a mental health court and a community striving to work together to ensure those afflicted with a mental health disorder are treated humanely. Our local MHMR is underfunded for the volume but has continued to keep the doors open rather than shutting them and putting folks on a waiting list, something that may no longer be possible without help from the Legislature this year.

DHS did not put its allocated funds to good use when it turned down El Paso, not once, but twice.

editor said...

We have been doing some outpatient competency restoration and in jail competency restoration with no new funding in our area. We chose not to request the funding because, #1, we didn't think we could compete, #2, we wanted the liberty to see what works with individualized treatment (as opposed to cookie cutter TRAG service packages). We did not feel it necessary to spend 4-8 man hours per week training a person what the role of their lawyer is when about 85% of incompetent defendants only need medication and brief training. The other 15% is primarily those with mental retardation and they are likely to have their charges dropped once determined unlikely to attain competency. I'm sorry that you all did not get the funding, but, possibly, it is a blessing in disguise. Our cost for outpatient competency restoration is considerably less than the DSHS RDM plan.

jennifer said...

Which city has started doing Outpatient Competency Restoration with no extra state funds? I am trying to help develop more of these programs and would love to talk with you!

Anonymous said...

Try Tyler