When someone is so mentally ill that he cannot rationally understand the charges against him or assist his attorney in his own defense, he is ruled incompetent to stand trial. In theory, this finding is followed by a commitment to a state mental hospital until his mental health improves to the point when he is competent to face the charges against him. Then, he is returned to jail to answer the charges. In Texas, however, we are in crisis. Our mental hospitals are apparently so full that people found incompetent are waiting months to go. Currently, inmates in Dallas County who have been found incompetent are waiting 10-12 weeks before they are transferred to a mental health facility. Many of them get worse as they languish in jail without mental health treatment. This means that it often takes them even longer to be restored to competency once they get to the hospital. This, of course, means that it takes longer for beds to open up in the hospital for new transferees. And the vicious circle continues. Many of these people were arrested for misdemeanor charges for which, if they were not mentally ill, they would normally be sentenced to a month or less in jail. Something needs to be done. Now.