Viral Newz

Williamson County finds workaround solution to long state hospital waitlists


GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — At Tuesday’s commissioner court meeting, Williamson County leaders heard more details about a competency restoration program at the county’s jail – this would speed up time inmates with mental illness receive treatment in order to stand trial.

The program is being lead by the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and Bluebonnet Trails Community Services, which provides mental health services across the county.

During the meeting, BTCS Executive Director Andrea Richardson said an application has already been submitted to Texas Health and Human Services for $500,000 in funding.

While no contract has been agreed on yet, an additional $500,000 would be matched by the county, Richardson told KXAN during follow up discussions on the proposal.

Regardless, Richardson and Williamson County Sheriff Mike Gleason said the program could get underway as soon as this Spring and last for 12 months once funding is in place.

The program would, according to its developers, add a forensic psychologist and additional mental health providers to the jail in order to treat inmates awaiting trial. This in an effort to reduce the time they wait in jail which has been prolonged by the long wait lists for state hospitals.

KXAN investigators have been following the struggles of the state hospital system – currently thousands are waiting for treatment.

Wednesday, a legislative meeting on the issue assessed chronic problems facing state hospitals like understaffing and lack of bed space.


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