Behavioral Health Court

July 21, 2020 Written by
Behavioral Health Court Behavioral Health Court Kitsap Defense Attorney Ryan Witt

Certain individuals with criminal cases in Kitsap County may be eligible to enter into a treatment-based court program named Behavioral Health Court. BHC is a therapeutic court aimed at helping individuals who are in the criminal justice system and who can demonstrate that there is a nexus between their mental illness and the crime charged.

 

Eligibility:


1. The participant must have an open criminal case within Kitsap County, or in one of the Cities where prosecution services are provided by Kitsap County.

2. The participant’s current charge must not be excluded by RCW 2.30.030

3. The participant’s entry into the program is approved by the prosecutor.

4. A participant’s whose sole diagnosis is a personality disorder or developmental disorder is considered on a case by case basis.

5. The participant must have a nexus between the crime charged and their mental illness.

6. The participant must me competent.

7. The participant must be amenable to treatment and to intense supervision.

 

Typical Conditions:

A participant must fully commit to the program and to working with the BHC team. The team is made up of a judge, a prosecutor, a defense attorney and multiple mental health treatment providers and counselors. It is designed to be a non-adversarial environment that encourages recovery and accountability. Appropriate resources are provided to the participant and appropriate treatment is a condition of the program. The team works collaboratively with law enforcement, probation, mental health and / or substance abuse treatment providers and other community partners. Typically, the participant meets with the team once a week.

 

End Result:

Once the participant has completed all aspects of the program, the pending charge(s) is/are dismissed. Throughout the process the participant gains somewhat of a “family” and those bonds can assist the participant far after the program has ended and the charges are dismissed.

Witt Law Group is a criminal defense and DUI defense law firm with offices in Bremeton, Poulsbo and Gig Harbor Washington. Behavioral Health Court or any mental illness can be a difficult thing to talk about. Call our office for a private, discrete conversation with one of our attorneys to see if BHC is a good fit for you.