CDHS and RISE celebrate 10 years of jail-based evaluation and restoration

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DENVER (Nov. 9, 2023) — The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health (OCFMH) is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Restoring Individuals Safely and Effectively (RISE) Program operated by Recovery Solutions. In 2013, RISE became the first jail-based competency restoration program in Colorado and has served 1,751 Coloradans since its implementation. Competency is a legal construct that refers to an individual’s capacity to function meaningfully and knowingly in a legal proceeding.

The RISE Program was established as a collaboration between CDHS, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office and Recovery Solutions. In 2019, the program expanded to Boulder with partnership from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office. When individuals are found incompetent to proceed to trial, they undergo competency restoration treatment at one of the two state mental health hospitals, in the jail-based restoration programs or in an outpatient program. 

“Together, we have created an innovative program that has had an immeasurable impact on the mental health system in Colorado.” said Leora Joseph, director of OCFMH. “I am grateful for Recovery Solutions and the Arapahoe and Boulder County Sheriff’s offices for their partnership in finding effective, local solutions.”

RISE provides competency restoration services for individuals found incompetent to proceed to trial, including assessment and evaluations, individualized treatment planning, individual and group treatment, psychiatric services, psychological services, medication and medication monitoring, and discharge and re-entry planning. The RISE Program also includes a partnership with the University of Colorado at Denver Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program to provide psychiatric fellow rotations.

“OCFMH and the Arapahoe and Boulder County Sheriff’s offices have been incredible partners over the past 10 years. Through these collaborations, we have transformed lives, reduced wait times for treatment, and crafted a successful model for high-quality treatment in a correctional setting,” said Dr. Leah Wallerstein, Psy.D., RISE Program administrator.  “We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the Colorado community in this way and look forward to more opportunities for innovation and partnership in the years to come.”

The Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health (OCFMH) operates Colorado’s two mental health hospitals, the Forensic Services Division and the Mental Health Transitional Living Homes. The office provides a continuum of mental health care that includes pre-trial restoration services, inpatient hospitalization and transition homes for community-based care.

Recovery Solutions is the nation’s largest provider of evidence-based, patient-centered inpatient behavioral health, residential treatment, and community-based services on behalf of public entities serving more than 3,000 individuals at more than 60 locations in 10 states. Recovery Solutions has more than 25 years of experience with civil, forensic, adult, children and adolescent, geriatric, and other specialized populations. Recovery Solutions also provides community-based inpatient and outpatient care at its NeuroBehavioral Hospitals and mental health rehabilitation centers. Its therapeutic environments support recovery through trauma-informed care — promoting patient empowerment, independence, and self-sufficiency as integral aspects of the treatment model. For more information, visit Recovery Solutions' website.

Media contacts:

Jordan Saenz, OCFMH Communications Manager

Craig Diamond, Recovery Solutions SVP Marketing & Communications