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Judges rule Alaska institute wait list prevents due process

Nurses leave the Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage, Alaska Thursday, June 23, 2005. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — State prosecutors have dropped at least one criminal case because overcrowding at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute caused wait times so long that due process protections were violated. The Anchorage Daily News reports that the Alaska Court of Appeals ruled the case of a mentally incompetent Juneau man had to be dismissed because he was imprisoned for nearly a year while awaiting space in the Anchorage mental health institute. State law requires residents accused of felonies who are deemed mentally incompetent to undergo treatment in an attempt for them to be competent for trial. A judge decides whether treatment is required in misdemeanor cases.


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