DSHS statement on federal district court contempt ruling in Trueblood case

Release Date: 
Jul 10 2016
DSHS Office of Communications
Kathy Spears
(360) 902-7893

“After reviewing the judge’s most recent ruling, we are disappointed that the conclusions do not recognize the significant progress made since the April 2015 ruling,” said Carla Reyes, assistant secretary for the DSHS Behavioral Health Administration.

“In fact, we’ve had significant success in reducing the time it takes to provide competency services for class members.”

Reyes said that since April 2015, wait times for inpatient evaluations have shrunk from a high of 91.8 days to 12.5 days at Eastern State Hospital and from 25.5 to 18.9 days at Western State Hospital. Wait times for inpatient restoration services dropped from a high of 90.8 days to 29 days at ESH, and from 39 days to 29 days at WSH.

Additionally DSHS reduced the number of days to provide in-jail evaluations from 66.5 days to 13.8 days at ESH and from 20.7 to 9.6 days at WSH.

“We were able to achieve these outcomes by collaborating with our partners, the judicial and criminal justice systems and by taking multiple aggressive and creative steps, including:

  • Adding 96 new beds (65 percent increase)
  • Hiring 13 additional forensic evaluators (45 percent increase)
  • Creating a new Office of Forensic Mental Health Services
  • Opening two alternate facilities to provide restoration services – one on each side of the state
  • Opening an additional 27 beds at ESH, 12 of them one year earlier than planned
  • Establishing four outstation locations to conduct more timely competency evaluations
  • Creating a pilot project in King County to ensure services are provided in a timely manner through a shared calendar system
  • Establishing  pilot diversion programs to test innovative approaches using community supports, and
  • Implementing uniform court orders for hospital admissions.

“Efforts continue to do everything within our control to meet the seven-day standard,” said Reyes. 




DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.