Mental health care available to Freeman HS shooting suspect in juvenile detention

KREM 2's Lindsay Nadrich looks into the mental health treatment and assessment of the Freeman HS shooting suspect

SPOKANE, Wash. – As the case moves forward for the Freeman High School suspected shooter, some people have asked what mental health services are available to him, as well as other juvenile offenders in jail.

Caleb Sharpe is facing once count first degree murder and three counts of first degree attempted murder. He is still charged as a juvenile, though authorities have said they want to see him charged as an adult.

Documents show the suspect had been seeing a school counselor before the school shooting, so many wanted to know if he is getting help while in juvenile detention.   

Staff at the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center said they could not speak directly about the Freeman High School shooting suspect. However, they do have a medical unit available to anyone housed in the secure facility.

As part of that unit, there is a mental health professional who works full time and a child psychiatrist. Both are available to juvenile offenders.

Whether or not the suspected shooter has actually sought help for mental health at this time is likely up to him, officials said. It varies case by case, but typically offenders are not required to undergo mental health treatment until the court orders it, staff explained.

Mental health treatment could be ordered as a condition of sentencing or if the court decides the offender needs to undergo a competency evaluation at any point.

Just a week into the system though, it is unlikely the suspected shooter is receiving mental health services unless he has requested it. Juvenile detention is a little different because they are addressing the needs of children rather than adults. Staff said kids often come into the facility in a crisis, so staff is there to address those needs.

The shooting suspect is expected in court again on September 26.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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