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BOISE -- Officials with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare say more Idaho residents are being committed to the state's psychiatric hospitals, but the length of time they spend in the hospitals is dropping.

Ross Edmonds with the department's Division of Mental Health told members of the Legislature's budget-setting committee on Wednesday that there were 473 commitments to State Hospital South in Pocatello and State Hospital North in Orofino in fiscal year 2008, compared to a projected 818 commitments for fiscal year 2013.

The average length of stay in Idaho's state mental hospitals is down from more than 80 days in fiscal year 2009 to fewer than 60 days in the last fiscal year.

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