Settlement in works over treatment of jailed mentally ill
Two years after a federal judge held the state of Washington in contempt for failing to provide timely competency services to mentally ill people accused of crimes, a settlement is in the works.
A proposed settlement between Disability Rights Washington and the Department of Social and Health Services would require the agency to admit that it has failed to resolve the problem that has gone on for years.
The state has paid almost $60 million in contempt fines over the past two years, and a settlement would help reduce or eliminate those costs.
The proposed agreement lays out a list of goals the state must achieve. Both sides will meet through July to secure the ultimate agreement by Aug. 10 in hopes of submitting it to the judge in October.