Citizens For Mental Health Reform Supports New Bill in Washington State Offering Alternative to Prison

The following is an open letter from Citizens For Mental Health Reform on sensible mental health reform in the State of Oregon with the Psychiatric Security Review Board.

In May of this year, Gov. Jay Inslee signed SB 5293 into law in Washington State.

It will offer an alternative to prison for criminal offenders suffering from serious mental conditions.

Under the new Mental Health Sentencing Alternative, judges will have the option to sentence a person to community supervision and treatment in lieu of prison.

The program will be open to individuals who are convicted of a felony crime (excluding serious violent and/or sexual offenses). In order to qualify, the person would have to be willing to participate in the sentencing alternative. The court would have to determine the individual would benefit from community-based supervision and treatment. The opinion of the person's victim would also be considered.

The state of Oregon and the PSRB should learn from this type of reform. This is the type of reform that we need.

Source: Citizens For Mental Health Reform