RCW 10.31.110

Alternatives to arrestIndividuals with mental disorders.

*** CHANGE IN 2021 *** (SEE 5476.SL) ***
(1) When a police officer has reasonable cause to believe that the individual has committed acts constituting a crime, and the individual is known by history or consultation with the behavioral health administrative services organization, managed care organization, behavioral health administrative services organization, crisis hotline, or local crisis services providers to suffer from a mental disorder, in addition to existing authority under state law, as an alternative to arrest, the arresting officer is authorized and encouraged to:
(a) Take the individual to a crisis stabilization unit as defined in RCW 71.05.020. Individuals delivered to a crisis stabilization unit pursuant to this section may be held by the facility for a period of up to twelve hours. The individual must be examined by a mental health professional within three hours of arrival;
(b) Take the individual to a triage facility as defined in RCW 71.05.020. An individual delivered to a triage facility which has elected to operate as an involuntary facility may be held up to a period of twelve hours. The individual must be examined by a mental health professional within three hours of arrival;
(c) Refer the individual to a mental health professional for evaluation for initial detention and proceeding under chapter 71.05 RCW; or
(d) Release the individual upon agreement to voluntary participation in outpatient treatment.
(2) If the individual is released to the community, the mental health provider shall make reasonable efforts to inform the arresting officer of the planned release prior to release if the arresting officer has specifically requested notification and provided contact information to the provider.
(3) In deciding whether to refer the individual to treatment under this section, the police officer must be guided by local law enforcement diversion guidelines for behavioral health developed and mutually agreed upon with the prosecuting authority with an opportunity for consultation and comment by the defense bar and disability community. These guidelines must address, at a minimum, the length, seriousness, and recency of the known criminal history of the individual, the mental health history of the individual, if available, the opinions of a mental health professional, if available, and the circumstances surrounding the commission of the alleged offense. The guidelines must include a process for clearing outstanding warrants or referring the individual for assistance in clearing outstanding warrants, if any, and issuing a new court date, if appropriate, without booking or incarcerating the individual or disqualifying him or her from referral to treatment under this section, and define the circumstances under which such action is permissible.
(4) Any agreement to participate in treatment shall not require individuals to stipulate to any of the alleged facts regarding the criminal activity as a prerequisite to participation in a mental health treatment alternative. The agreement is inadmissible in any criminal or civil proceeding. The agreement does not create immunity from prosecution for the alleged criminal activity.
(5) If an individual violates such agreement and the mental health treatment alternative is no longer appropriate:
(a) The mental health provider shall inform the referring law enforcement agency of the violation; and
(b) The original charges may be filed or referred to the prosecutor, as appropriate, and the matter may proceed accordingly.
(6) The police officer is immune from liability for any good faith conduct under this section.
[ 2019 c 326 § 3; 2019 c 325 § 5004; 2014 c 225 § 57. Prior: 2011 c 305 § 7; 2011 c 148 § 3; 2007 c 375 § 2.]


Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2019 c 325 § 5004 and by 2019 c 326 § 3, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).
Intent2019 c 326: See note following RCW 10.77.074.
Effective date2019 c 325: See note following RCW 71.24.011.
Effective date2014 c 225: See note following RCW 71.24.016.
Findings2011 c 305: See note following RCW 74.09.295.
Certification of triage facilitiesEffective date2011 c 148: See notes following RCW 71.05.020.
FindingsPurpose2007 c 375: "The legislature finds that *RCW 10.77.090 contains laws relating to three discrete subjects. Therefore, one purpose of this act is to reorganize some of those laws by creating new sections in the Revised Code of Washington that clarify and identify these discrete subjects.
The legislature further finds that there are disproportionate numbers of individuals with mental illness in jail. The needs of individuals with mental illness and the public safety needs of society at large are better served when individuals with mental illness are provided an opportunity to obtain treatment and support." [ 2007 c 375 § 1.]
*Reviser's note: RCW 10.77.090 was repealed by 2007 c 375 § 17. For later enactment, see RCW 10.77.084, 10.77.086, and 10.77.088.
Construction2007 c 375: "Nothing in this act shall be construed to alter or diminish a prosecutor's inherent authority to divert or pursue the prosecution of criminal offenders." [ 2007 c 375 § 16.]
Severability2007 c 375: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 2007 c 375 § 18.]