July 17, 2019

SB 17-012: Specifying Procedures for Restoring Competency in Juvenile and Criminal Justice Systems

On January 11, 2017, Sen. Beth Humenik and Rep. Pete Lee introduced SB 17-012, “Concerning Competency Restoration Services for Defendants Deemed Incompetent to Proceed.”

Legislative Oversight Committee Concerning the Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems.

The bill addresses various issues relating to the restoration of competency for juveniles and adults in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, including:

  • Requiring the court to consider whether restoration to competency services should occur on an outpatient basis if the defendant is on bond or summons;
  • Requiring that, in addition to providing competency restoration services in the least restrictive environment, the provision of such services and a juvenile’s participation in those services occur and are reviewed by the court in a timely manner;
  • Establishing the unit within the department of human services that administers behavioral health programs and services, including those relating to mental health and substance abuse, also known as the office of behavioral health (office), as the entity responsible for the oversight of restoration education and the coordination services necessary to competency restoration; and
  • Setting forth the duties of the office related to competency restoration services and education.

The bill was introduced in the Senate and assigned to the Judiciary Committee. It is scheduled for hearing in committee on February 6 at 1:30 p.m.