In 2002, the state adopted a statute (RCW 70.96A.580) which established the Criminal Justice Treatment Account (CJTA). This law was designed to reduce sentencing guidelines and create alternatives for treating nonviolent offenders with substance use disorders (SUD). The law was intended to save state prison costs by providing SUD treatment to these non-violent offenders.
Counties began receiving CJTA funding by formula in approximately 2003. The state set the eligibility criteria as follows:
CJTA funding can be used for the following services for non-violent substance abusing offenders:
In 2013, after federal implementation of the Healthcare Reform Act (HCA), the state of Washington initiated a model to integrate physical and behavioral health care. In 2016, as part of integrated care, North Sound Behavioral Health Organization (BHO) began administering SUD treatment services which were previously administered by the five counties in the North Sound region. North Sound BHO, in coordination with the counties kept the local CJTA panels in place in order to continue receiving advice about the service priorities for each County.
Panel positions are listed by statute, RCW 70.96A.580 and include the following members:
County Alcohol and Drug Coordinator (Jaculine J. Mitchell)
County Prosecutor (Dave McEachran)
County Sheriff (Bill Elfo)
County Superior Court (Dave Reynolds)
A Drug Court Representative (currently A. Christine Furman), and
Two positions which must be appointed by the County Council; a representative from an SUD treatment agency, and a member of the criminal defense bar. (Currently, Charles Christopher Watras, and Starck Follis, respectively.)
The CJTA panel meets on an ad-hoc basis, usually precipitated by funding changes at the state level or by changes in community need at the local level.
Please contact Jackie Mitchell for further information.