FAQ: Awaiting an Available Treatment Bed

What do we do if there are no inpatient treatment beds available? Is jail an option?

Treatment courts around the country struggle with this question. The problem is not enough facility bed space to get clients into the level of care they need. Too often, treatment courts will house people in jail as they wait for a bed to open, for periods ranging anywhere from a couple of weeks to months. When we house clients in jail, they start giving up and sometimes will deteriorate. Jail is also the easy route for many programs as a place where the client is “kept safe.” The Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards Volume I discusses the principle of choosing the least restrictive environment that meets the needs or level of care of the client.

Date: 2019