Workforce shortages in the state psychiatric hospital system prolong jail time for mentally ill Texans
March 10, 2023
The state has added more beds for jail inmates who need psychiatric treatment to be considered competent to face trial. But at least a third remain empty because the state can’t hire enough people to staff them. - Texas Tribune
Topics: Jail Conditions, Mental Health, Overcrowding
Krish Gundu with the Texas Jail Project worries the state has forgotten the purpose of its psychiatric hospital system. “The state hospital system is our public health system, but the road to that is going through jails,” Gundu said. The state hospital system for many decades accepted patients who came through the civil court system, where relatives or others petitioned the court to commit them to hospitalization because their illness presented a risk to themselves or others. This changed in the early 2000s when forensic admissions continued to climb.