SHB 1524

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 205 L 18

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Increasing success in therapeutic courts.

Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Kloba, Klippert, Goodman, Holy, Macri, Peterson, Haler, Doglio, Appleton and Stanford).

House Committee on Judiciary

House Committee on Appropriations

Senate Committee on Law & Justice

Senate Committee on Ways & Means


Therapeutic Courts.

Therapeutic courts, or specialty courts, are courts authorized by statute to use evidence-based and research-based programs structured to treat a defendant or a respondent's underlying behavioral health issues while under the supervision of the courts. Eligible participants may have their case removed from the traditional criminal or civil track and are afforded the opportunity to obtain treatment services to obtain treatment services to address mental health, substance use, and other behavior issues.

Therapeutic courts include, but are not limited to, adult drug courts, juvenile drug courts, family dependency or family drug courts, mental health courts, DUI courts, truancy courts, domestic violence courts, and other similar courts.

Any jurisdiction establishing a therapeutic court must:

The Administrative Office of the Courts and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) jointly provide statewide coordination for the jurisdictions that operate therapeutic courts. The DSHS arranges for treatment facilities and treatment provider payment.

Therapeutic Court Funding.

Therapeutic courts have various sources of funding. Counties may adopt a sales and use tax to fund therapeutic court and treatment services and may seek federal funding for therapeutic court operations and associated treatment services. In addition, the Criminal Justice Treatment Account (Account) funds the treatment of substance use disorders and treatment support services. The definition of treatment for the purpose of the Account includes services that are critical to a participant's successful completion of a substance use disorder treatment program, but does not include outpatient housing, vocational training, or mental health counseling.


Treatment services, for the purpose of the Criminal Justice Treatment Account (Account) are expanded to include recovery support services, such as housing, vocational training, and mental health counseling, in addition to other services as delineated in statute.

On an annual basis, funds appropriated are transferred from the State General Fund to the Account in four equal quarterly payments. Any unspent funds from the Account are transferred to the State General Fund during the 2017-2019 and 2019-2021 fiscal biennia.

Votes on Final Passage:










(Senate amended)




(House concurred)


June 7, 2018