Here is an overview of the state mental hospital system, including average lengths of stay for patient commitments and an overview of the Conditional Release Program.

Data on the average length of stay for each type of patient commitment served in the California Department of State Hospitals facilities in fiscal year 2011-12 (see chart below):

  • Prisoners from the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation: 166.82 days

  • Department of Juvenile Justice: 241.10 days

  • Incompetent to stand trial: 190.53 days

  • Mentally Disordered Offenders: 1,047.01

  • Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity: 2,059.58

  • Sexually Violent Predator: 1,514.77

  • Other Forensic Commitments: 830.25

    After release, many patients are released into a conditional release program. Here's an overview of the program as described by the state:

    The Conditional Release Program (CONREP) is a network of state-funded but locally provided services for the community evaluation, treatment and supervision of judicially committed mental health patients. Most individuals in CONREP have experienced lengthy state hospitalizations.

    Once psychiatric symptoms have been stabilized and they are considered no longer to be a danger, the state hospital medical director recommends eligible inpatients to the courts for outpatient treatment under CONREP. Individuals must agree to follow a treatment plan designed by the outpatient supervisor and approved by the committing court. The court-approved treatment plan includes provisions for involuntary outpatient services. In order to protect the public, individuals who do not comply with treatment may be returned, upon court approval, to inpatient status. Additionally, the programs must also report to courts on the progress of all cases, and recommend program discharge when clients no longer require services.

    Individuals served by CONREP have direct access to an array of mental health services during their period of outpatient treatment. These services include individual and group therapies, collateral contacts (such as other individuals/agencies), home visits, substance abuse screenings, and psychological assessments. DSH has developed performance standards for these services, which set minimum treatment and supervision levels for individuals court-ordered to CONREP. Evaluations and assessments are done upon entry into the community and throughout CONREP treatment.

    Source: California Department of State Hospitals