Aug 31, 2011 8:43 PM by Dr. Anya Winslow
DENVER (AP) - A federal lawsuit accuses the Colorado's Department of Human Services and the state's mental health institute of long delays in evaluating mentally ill inmates and treating those determined unfit for trial.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the non-profit Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People alleges that inmates who have been referred to the state mental hospital in Pueblo sometimes wait up to six months to be transferred from a jail to the hospital.
The lawsuit wants a judge to declare that inmates' due process rights are being violated. The lawsuit says "presumptively innocent men and women are languishing" in state jails.
Colorado's Department of Human Services says it can't comment on pending litigation and the mental health hospital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)