Jail-Based Competency Restoration Program
The Jail-Based Competency Restoration Program (JBCR) is one of several services offered through Behavioral Consultants, Inc, a private company committed to providing expert, timely and ethically-sound clinical and forensic services throughout the state of Wisconsin. The JBCR is staffed with a Clinical Director, an Assistant to the Director, Behavioral Specialists, Regional Jail Specialists and a Program Administrative Assistant. We are approved to work in select counties throughout the state.
The Jail-Based Competency Restoration Program assists each participant in learning, to the best of his/her ability, about the court system, how to help in his/her defense, and to make rational decisions throughout the court process. The Program aims to address impediments to these capacities.
The Jail-Based Competency Restoration Program (JBCR) officially began in 2016 in response to the numbers of individuals committed to the Department of Health Services waiting for restoration services on an inpatient basis. JBCR offers remediation services to defendants adjudicated Not Competent but Likely to Regain Competency and who are committed to the Department of Health Services under WSS 971.14(5). These defendants are currently housed in a secure setting, such as a local jail, and are awaiting transfer to an inpatient setting to complete remediation treatment. It is designed to reduce the time defendants spend in a mental health institute (MHI) for competency restoration, to utilize this “down time” in the jail toward the defendant’s restoration, maximize clinical responsiveness to mentally ill defendants, and make prudent use of resources.
In participating counties, once a defendant has been committed to the Department of Health Services (DHS), his/her name is added to the admissions list and the defendant waits in custody for transfer to one of the state MHI’s. Defendants are referred to JBCR by the Department of Health Services Admissions Team or Court Liaisons. Once this referral is received, an Initial Assessment is conducted by the Regional Jail Specialist to determine the defendant’s appropriateness for the Program and interest in participating in remediation services.
Waiting for transfer to an inpatient setting
Detained in a secure setting, such as a jail
Presents no immediate danger
Willing to participate
Is motivated with a good attitude
If the defendant agrees to participate in JBCR and is deemed appropriate for services, a Behavioral Specialist will provide remediation treatment. Additionally, once a referral is received by the Program, the Regional Jail Specialist will meet regularly with the defendant and/or institution staff to assess mental stability, medication compliance, and institution adjustment. All defendants, subject to JBCR service, will receive case management.
The defendant will be evaluated by an outside examiner should the statutory review date arrive while the defendant is waiting for transfer to the institution. A written report about the defendant’s progress is then given to the court for consideration on making a determination of competency.
Change in Status
DHS will be notified should a defendant exhibit a marked change in status while awaiting admission to the institution. An appropriate response to this change will then be determined and implemented. Should it be necessary, correspondence will be sent to court staff to provide an update of this change.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Will participation in this program effect the defendant’s position on the admissions list?
No. Defendants in the JBCR will not be handled differently than other defendants awaiting transfer. They will continue to move up on the admissions list as bed space becomes available.
Who pays for this service?
DHS covers all cost related to competency restoration services.
What services do defendants who participate in this program receive?
Defendants participating in JBCR may receive twice-weekly remediation services conducted by a Behavioral Specialist and weekly or monthly in-person visits by the Regional Jail Specialist to ascertain mental status, facility adjustment, and medication compliance. Services are determined on a case-by-case basis. All defendants receive case management services via contact between the Regional Jail Specialist and jail staff.
Will the defendant be re-evaluated according to the statutory timetable?
Defendants participating in the JBCR will be evaluated according to statutory requirements. This evaluation will be conducted by an independent examiner who is not employed by JBCR.
What happens if the defendant is found competent before transfer to the Mental Health Institute?
If a defendant is opined competent before transfer to one of the state MHIs, a review hearing will be requested within 14 days of the court’s notification of this change in status. Services will continue to be provided until the defendant is found (adjudicated) competent, found not competent and not likely to regain, or is transferred to a state MHI.
What happens if a defendant’s status changes?
The Regional Jail Specialist will communicate on a regular basis with jail staff to assess mental stability, medication compliance, and institution adjustment. DHS will be notified should there be indications a defendant has exhibited a marked change in his/her mental health status while awaiting admission to the institution. An appropriate response to this change will then be determined and implemented in collaboration with OCRP staff. Should it be necessary, correspondence will be sent to court staff to provide an update of this change.
When will services close for these defendants?
Services will continue to be provided until the defendant is found competent, found not competent and not likely to regain, or is transferred to a state mental health Institute.
For more information, contact the Program Clinical Director, Dr. Christina Engen at:
757 N Broadway, Suite 500
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Tel: (414) 271 – 5577
821 W. State Street, Room 504
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Tel: (414) 278 – 4690