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Responsibilities of Behavioral Health Providers 

Provider agencies should be notified automatically when an individual enrolled in services at their agency is incarcerated.

Providers shall communicate with the King County Jails within one businesses day following notification of incarceration, and provide information on enrollment information, diagnosis, current psychiatric medications, pharmacy phone/fax numbers, medication adherence, physical health problems, allergies, risk factors, and contact information.

Please complete the  Mental Health Information on an Inmate form to provide this information to King County Jails as soon as you learn that a client you work with has been incarcerated.

Providers shall also assist King County Jail staff in release planning, including providing timely care upon release of clients, which includes, at a minimum, a face-to-face direct service appointment within seven calendar days following jail release. Even better, providers are encouraged to meet their clients upon release from jail to coordinate reentry and a smooth transition back into the community.

Best-practices show that making a concrete plan for release facilitates reentry. Work with the client to identify his/her/their goals, set follow-up appointments prior to release, devise a written plan, identify community connections and likely locations where the individual can be located, and confirm probation/court date(s).

There is a greater chance of success at reentry when an individual makes a connection to a service provider within 72 hours after jail release.

Individuals are highly vulnerable at time of reentry (including at risk of overdose due to decreased tolerance while incarcerated, if the individual uses substances). Work with the individual to understand the factors that led to incarceration to reduce the risk of a return to a crisis.

Consider the following reentry needs when your client is released from jail: 

  • Basic needs (clothing, hygiene supplies, phone, transportation)
  • Housing/shelter plans
  • Behavioral health needs (access to psychiatric medications, treatment plan updates, follow-up appointments, medication regimen adjustments)
  • Physical/medical health needs (access to medications, primary care appointments)
  • Access to financial benefits, including DSHS and Social Security and/or obtaining an ID
  • Vocational or employment support

Navigating the Jails

For One-Time Window Visits

The most accessible way for most providers to access the jail is through one-time window visitsuse the following procedure if you expect to be visiting individuals less than 1x per week. This process is intended for all professional visits, including case managers, mental health professionals, substance use counselors, social workers, and other social service providers.

  • King County Correctional Facility (KCCF) – Seattle: Please schedule one-time visits directly with Karen Pohio via e-mail at karen.pohio@kingcounty.gov and cc designated Jail health Services Release Planner Staff if you are working with one.
  • Norm Maleng Regional Justice Centre (MRJC) – Kent: Please schedule one-time only visits directly with Mary Ann Morbley at maryann.morbley@kingcounty.gov.

When e-mailing Karen or Mary Ann, explain that you are a social service professional looking to meet with your client who is currently in a King County Jail. Include the following in your e-mail:

  • In SUBJECT LINE, state “Day-Date-Time” of Client Visit.
  • In the MESSAGE BODY:
  • Your full legal name as it appears on your valid government-issued picture ID
  • The client’s full legal name (as it appears in the JILS system, not necessarily their preferred name)
  • The BA (booking) number (a 9-digit number that can also be accessed in the JILS system)
  • The Day-Date-Time you want to visit (between 8am-8pm, but no visits allowed between 2-3pm [shift change] and 5-6pm [dinner])
  • Upon arrival for your visit, go to the 3rd floor reception desk with valid government issued picture ID 

IMPORTANT: Please allow for TWO FULL business days advance notice.

  • If you visit client MONDAY, email THURSDAY morning before 12 noon.
  • If you visit client TUESDAY, email FRIDAY morning before 12 noon.
  • If you visit client WEDNESDAY, email MONDAY morning before 12 noon.
  • If you visit client THURSDAY, email TUESDAY morning before 12 noon.
  • If you visit client FRIDAY, email WEDNESDAY morning before 12 noon.

Jail Visitation Guidelines

  • Bring your government-issued photo ID (such as a state-issued drivers license)
  • Take only what you need
  • No cell phones or items that could be considered contraband (use the lockers at the jail entrance to lock up items – bring quarters!)
  • Appropriate clothing: no sleeveless tops, t-shirts, sheer clothing, short dresses, shorts, cut-offs, or skirts
  • Do not directly give ANY items to inmates
  • Any violation of these rules/guidelines could result in the suspension of visitation privileges, so ask any DAJD staff for clarification on rules if you have concerns.

Jail Clearance Applications

Certain mental health provider agencies under contract with the King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (BHRD) are eligible for BHRD-sponsored access, which allows providers to visit individuals in King County Jails at any time without the need to schedule a visit 2 business days in advance.

Jail Clearance is only available to Diversion and Reentry (DRS) provider staff (and other intensive carve-out programs), and is only recommended for individuals who expect to visit the jail at least 1x per week.

King County jails rely on BHRD DRS staff to pre-screen and sponsor all provider applications for jail clearance to the King County Jail facilities.

Please contact Chris Mitchell at BHRD-DRSJAIL@kingcounty.gov or (206) 263-8951 to consult on the level of jail clearance needed, obtain the relevant forms to fill out, and receive instructions on the submission process.

To search all court records in the State of Washington, the  Washington Courts website allows you to search by name or case number to learn more about individuals’ previous legal involvement or current case information.

You can use JILS to find a case number (or Cause Number) associated with an individual, and then use these case numbers to search for relevant court records. King County is a very large county and does not have a unified court system, thus each of the 39 municipalities have a unique court process.

Key website links:

Watch a  Legal Competency and Diversion for Behavioral Health Providers training from Washington State’s Department of Social and Human Services.

The King County Jail Inmate Lookup Service (JILS) is publicly available information to search by name for booking information over the last 12 months (including current incarceration status, charge details, and previous bookings). The King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD) operates two county jails: the King County Correctional Facility in downtown Seattle, and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. The majority of individuals with more severe psychiatric conditions, especially those with high acuity or a psychotic spectrum disorder, will most likely be housed in KCCF on the 7th floor.

Within King County jails, Jail Health Services (JHS) is a division of the Department of Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) that is charged with providing health services for the detained adult population in the King County Jails. JHS assesses and stabilizes serious health problems for individuals currently incarcerated with King County Jails, with a focus on transition from jail and continuity of care. Multidisciplinary care teams, with physicians, psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, and more strive to use periods of incarceration (typically less than 72 hours) to maximum beneficial effect for the patient and for the larger community.

Municipal Jails

 The South Correction Entity (SCORE) is a misdemeanor jail in Des Moines that is a cooperative effort of seven (7) cities: Auburn, Burien, Des Moines, Federal Way, Renton, Seatac, and Tukwila. Their  inmate locator can be used to find individuals currently incarcerated, recently booked, or recently released.

Additionally, several smaller and local municipalities operate their own jails and maintain their own inmate rosters:

  • For the Kent City Jail, please see the Kent Jail Inmate Lookup Service.
  • For the Issaquah City Jail, please see their In-Custody list
  • For the Enumclaw jail, please contact the Enumclaw Police Department

Jail Health Services (JHS) tries to continue prescriptions to psychiatric medications within 24 hours of booking, but relies on providers to provide information on behavioral health treatment and psychiatric medications.

Please complete the  Mental Health Information on an Inmate form to provide this information to King County Jails as soon as you learn that a client you work with has been incarcerated.

Jail Health Services may also be able to provide up to 7 days of medication to property upon request either by patient, JHS provider, or outside agency. Typically, the JHS pharmacy needs at least 1-3 business days for 7 days of medications to property and at least 3-5 business days for a 30 day prescription to be called into an outside pharmacy.

Please reference the documents below for additional information on psychiatric medications for individuals in King County Jails.

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.

Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9000

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Fax: 206-296-0583