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All individuals charged with a crime have the constitutional right to understand the nature of the charges against them and assist in their defense (e.g. legally competence).

If a court believes a mental health issue may prevent a person from aiding in their defense, the court puts the criminal case on hold (per RCW 10.77) while an evaluation is completed to determine that individual’s legal competence to proceed with the criminal court case. 

If the individual is found not competent, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) is required to provide them with competency restoration services in a timely fashion, after which point the criminal case may proceed. The majority of competency restoration services are provided in the forensic units of Western State Hospital, or at facilities in Yakima or Maple Lane in Centralia.

Watch a video on  Legal Competency and Diversion for Behavioral Health Providers from Washington State’s Department of Social and Human Services. (Also embedded at the bottom of the page.)

For More Information

Contact Shanna Clinton

Intensive Services Coordinator

(206) 263-5747

sclinton@kingcounty.gov

Resources for Providers

Forms and Documents for LEAD Trueblood Providers:

  Social Contact Referral Form (Fillable PDF)

More information on LINC, download:

  King County LINC Brochure

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Trueblood et al. v. Washington State DSHS

Trueblood v. State of Washington Department of Human and Social Services, No.2:2014cv01178, Washington Western District Court, 2015, is a federal class action lawsuit challenging unconstitutional delays in competency evaluation and restoration services.

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LEAD Expansion to Serve Individuals with Mental Health Conditions

The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) arrest diversion program is a collaborative community safety effort that offers law enforcement a credible alternative to booking people into jail.

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Legal Intervention and Network of Care (LINC)

The Legal Intervention and Network of Care (LINC) program provides behavioral health treatment in lieu of prosecution for individuals with mental health and substance use conditions who have been booked into jail for misdemeanors and low level felonies

Starting in March 2020, households across our region and across the country will have the opportunity to participate in the 2020 Census. Your participation matters. Learn how you can promote a fair and accurate census at kingcounty.gov/census.

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Fax: 206-296-0583