LAS VEGAS (AP) — Public defenders are suing Nevada’s only hospital for mentally ill inmates, saying it’s stretched so thin that defendants declared incompetent are waiting 11 times as long as they should to be admitted.

The Clark County public defender’s office filed a lawsuit in June against Lake’s Crossing Center in Sparks, saying inmates on the waiting list are spending an average of 80 days in jails without proper treatment and with their legal cases on hold.

Clark County Deputy Public Defender Christy Craig tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal (http://bit.ly/1ce0gnw) the state agreed in 2008 that inmates should wait no more than one week for admission.

State health and human services spokeswoman Mary Woods says Nevada is expanding a Sparks psychiatric hospital by 10 beds, which should be ready in about three months.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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