Orlando man's 7th arrest in 7 years raises questions about mental competency system

Orange County, Florida, courts have ordered thousands of mental-competency hearings in recent years to test whether criminal defendants are mentally capable of facing charges. If they are not, they get released, leaving mental illnesses untreated and leading to repeat cycles of arrest and release that sap public resources and threaten public safety. Miami-Dade’s Criminal Mental Health Project offers a more effective model, in which police officers are trained to call in mental health professionals who can get the person into treatment rather than jail.

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