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CDHS to meet new requirements for mental health patients 

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The state's Department of Human Services and Disability Law Colorado have reached an agreement in an eight-year court battle over wait times for court-ordered competency services.

The consent decree requires CDHS to meet a series of time frames for mental competency evaluations and services. If CDHS fails to meet those deadlines, it could face up to $10 million in fines over a 12-month period.

Starting June 1, CDHS must offer admission to those who urgently need inpatient mental health services within seven days. (The current maximum wait, as set forth in a previous settlement agreement, is 28 days.)

CDHS must also "support efforts to get people care that helps divert them from the criminal justice system, and to bond out of jail so they can receive treatment in the community," the department announced in a statement. It will "work with stakeholders statewide" to "create a roadmap for improving mental health services."

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