Judge Audrey Broyles speaks to a defendant during an end of jurisdiction hearing at the Marion County Courthouse in Salem.

A 25-year-old man charged with burglary and assaulting and harassing his mother was released from the Oregon State Hospital in late January after reaching the end of his jurisdiction in a program to help defendants with behavioral health conditions.

Marion County Circuit Court Judge Audrey Broyles, deputy district attorney Evelyn Centeno and the man’s lawyer, Kobin Patterson, met in Broyles’ courtroom to decide the best option for the man’s treatment. He had spent six months at the psychiatric hospital, and under a federal court order he had to be released.

They agreed the man still might not be able to help in his own defense and decided to have him enter the county’s community restoration program, to continue learning legal skills and take prescribed medication while staying at the Psychiatric Crisis Center in Salem.

Deputy District Attorney Evelyn Centeno speaks to a defense attorney during an end of jurisdiction hearing.

County courts across Oregon are making decisions on a daily basis about aid and assist patients as they are being released more rapidly than before under the court order.

The record-breaking number of aid and assist cases has become a crisis: There are not enough resources at the state hospital or in local communities to restore patients’ abilities to aid in their own defense. And so they’re increasingly being released from the state hospital, often to live on the streets and sometimes to commit new crimes.

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