All Local. All Morning in Everett
Seahawks training camp 2018: Exclusive coverage only on Q13 FOX

Federal judge rules Washington’s warehousing of mentally ill defendants unconstitutional

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge says Washington state’s warehousing of mentally ill defendants in jail before trial is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle issued a ruling Monday in a class-action lawsuit challenging the practice. She said the state “has consistently and over a long period of time violated the constitutional rights of the mentally ill.” She added: “This must stop.”

At issue is the state’s practice of holding mentally ill defendants in jail pending mental health treatment or a determination on whether they’re competent to stand trial. Defendants typically have to wait for at least two weeks, and up to nearly two months, before receiving services.

Critics say the conditions of the defendants often get worse during those waits.

The state has conceded that the length of the wait times is indefensible.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s