Suit Alleges Delays In Treatment of Colo. Inmates

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A federal lawsuit accuses the Colorado 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 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 suit asks for a judge to declare that inmates' due process rights are being violated. "Presumptively innocent men and women are languishing" in state jails, according to the lawsuit.

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