Mental Health and Co-occurring Disorders are one of the most serious and pervasive issues in our community. As of 2015, nearly 18% (43.4 million) of adults nationwide experience a mental illness. Historical models of justice coupled with lack of resources for those with mental illness yield higher rates of incarceration. More than a quarter of our jails are populated by those with serious mental illness; rates five times greater than seen in the general public.
Therapeutic courts are a proven commodity when it comes to addressing systemic problems in the criminal justice arena. In response to the growing concern surrounding overrepresentation of those with mental illness in our jail, the Kitsap County District Court developed a coordinated response with defense attorneys, prosecutors, law enforcement, the jail, mental health and substance use service providers, and behavioral health outreach teams to address the dilemma. Subsequent to the collaboration of these partner agencies, the Behavioral Health Court was created and began taking its first participants in November 2016.
What We Do
Behavioral Health Court uses a non-adversarial team based approach to promote participant recovery and accountability. The court identifies crucial resources and orders appropriate treatment and education to correct behavior and reduce recidivism through regular judicial supervision. The court works collaboratively with corrections, mental health and/or substance abuse treatment providers, probation services, law enforcement, and other community partners to ensure wraparound services and a greater path to success.
Team members meet on a regular basis to ensure successful progression through the program and make suggestions for program improvements. Participation in the program is voluntary and participants must meet eligibility criteria to be considered.
 Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/  Bronson, J., & Berzofsky, M. (2017). Indicators of Mental Health Problems Reported by Prisoners and Jail Inmates, 2011–12.
If you have additional questions or would like more information about our program, please contact the Behavioral Health Court Program Manager at (360) 337-4706 or email email@example.com