Special Commitment Program - Dept of Social and Health Services - Current Law
The Special Commitment Center (SCC) program of the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) was established under the authority of Chapter 71.09 RCW, the Community Protection Act, to provide for the detainment and civil commitment of people found to meet the statutory definition of a sexually violent predator. SCC strives to provide rehabilitation services for residents, create pathways for their future, and maintain community safety. The SCC operates the total confinement facility on McNeil Island for up to three hundred residents, and two less-restrictive residential facilities called secure community transition facilities (SCTF). Together, the SCTFs house up to 30 SCC residents who have progressed in treatment and have received court-ordered conditional releases to less-restrictive alternative placements. The two SCTFs are located on McNeil Island and in Seattle. The SCC also has case management responsibilities for SCC residents who have received court-ordered conditional releases to their family homes, or contracted 24-hour supervised residential programs. DSHS is also in the midst of siting and land acquisition for a future SCTF in Snohomish County for sexually violent predators who are progressing through treatment and ordered by the courts to a less-restrictive alternative. This project aims to add capacity for 12 to 24 beds in this new SCTF. In addition, after about 13 months of taking on responsibility for the discharge planning process from defense counsel to DSHS for residents who are being conditionally released from the Special Commitment Center, staff is working hard to streamline and implement best practices. The 2021 Senate Bill 5163 directed this new work for the department, which includes establishing contracts with housing and treatment providers, new community notification requirements, and convening a workgroup with relevant stakeholders.
To transform lives through dedication to the wellness of individuals, their families and the community through behavioral health intervention, treatment and education.
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