Providing a competency support docket for misdemeanor cases in Denver County Court with a team fluent in competency matters and community resources available to support its clients out-of-custody.

Competency cases pose challenges for the operation of court divisions in that the pace of progress is slower, and often difficult to plan for as progress is dependent on clients’ ability to be restored (which is often complicated by conditions in-custody, access to specialized mental health care, and plagued by scarce resources).  Attorneys and judicial officers staffing the cases might only have a handful in a caseload with competency, and so they do not have the capacity to develop expertise in competency.  Issues such as appropriate pretrial supervision levels, client needs, and opportunities for diversion are complicated in competency cases, and achieving positive clinical and legal outcomes often depend on decisions made regarding these issues.  

Court docket and support team coordination, meeting planning, wraparound services including emergency housing, transportation assistance, cell phones with limited plans, hygiene items, basic clothing, food assistance, and other supportive items.

Case coordinator, Clinical screener (0.5 FTE), Denver District Attorney (0.5 FTE), Office of the Colorado State Public Defender (0.5 FTE)

Potential to serve 150 cases in 2024 (to include cases where competency is questioned, raised, and/or cases diverted to the Competency Diversion program); Projection is based on misdemeanor case filings in 2022.

Decrease in number of misdemeanor cases in the competency system; Decrease in number of misdemeanor competency filings in Denver; Creation of alternate pathways for an individual to explore treatment and services outside of formal legal competency; Decrease in number of individuals on the waitlist in Denver to be restored to competency; Increase in number of individuals connected to care via direct referrals to providers.

This program enables the implementation of a competency docket for misdemeanor cases in Denver County Court.  This program’s focus is on reaching a diversionary outcome for clients in a time-efficient manner. 

$358,609 for one year