AUSTIN (KXAN) — Every year, thousands of mentally ill men and women languish in Texas’ county jails. Incapable of standing trial, they might wait more than a year for a bed in a state hospital to get the help they need. As Texas’ population booms, its leaders have recognized this problem is also growing, but their efforts to shrink the backlog have failed. In 2019, the number of people stuck on the state’s waitlist — with their cases stalled and constitutional rights possibly violated — reached historic levels. These are the stories of the families caught up in this broken system and the state’s struggle to find solutions.
Watch the stories of families who have fought for help for their loved ones and experienced delayed justice, and some of the solutions that could help. Tap here to explore the “Locked in Limbo” investigation.
More from this investigation
- Explore videos of personal stories and solutions
- Read the article about the Texas inmate backlog and wait times for state hospital help
- Listen to the podcast about a family’s efforts to get their veteran son help after he shot up their home
- Use our resource page for mental health and jail and justice support
- Read about how a murdered woman’s loved ones still search for justice 20 years later
- Read about solutions and alternatives to the current mental competency restoration system
- Read about the background and efforts behind this investigation