You are here: Home / About JEC / News / NJC Launches Mental Competency Best Practices Website

NJC Launches Mental Competency Best Practices Website

Website available on best practices involving mental competency issues.

With a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Judicial College has announced publication of the Mental Competency—Best Practices Model and launch of the website for publishing the Model at

The purpose of the Mental Competency—Best Practices Model is to present a body of practices deemed most effective and efficient for handling mental incompetency issues in the criminal justice and related mental health systems. The Mental Competency—Best Practices Model addresses issues such as:

• Standards and Protocol for the Initial Competency Hearing and Order for Evaluation;
• What a Competency Evaluation and Report Should Contain;
• Incorporating a Competency Treatment Plan;
• Standards and Protocol for the Hearing for Competency Determination;
• When and What Competency Restoration Should Entail;
• Court and System-Wide Practices for Maintaining Competency and Preventing Decompensation, Including  Standards and Protocol for a Sell Hearing for the Involuntary Administration of Medication;
• Establishing a Competency Court or Docket;
• Providing Specialized Education for All the Stakeholders on Competency Issues; and
• Statewide, Regional and/or Jurisdictional, and Court Collaboration on Competency.

In addition to the Model, the website has related resources, including videos of mock competency hearings and a competency assessment, and links to cases, statutes, articles, books, studies and other helpful information.

The website also features a blog to keep you apprised of recent court decisions; legislative changes across the country, including implementation of best practices; educational offerings; new articles, books, studies and other releases; and other news and innovations in the mental competency area. NJC hopes you will subscribe.

If you have any questions or would like technical assistance such as research on a particular topic, additional resources, assistance with implementing any of the practices or any other assistance in this area, NJC invites you to submit a technical assistance request via the website or contact the program attorney for this project, Daphne A. Burns at (916) 676-9876 or

This item expired on Dec 31, 2012 12:00 AM.