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Spokane County's jail diversion option, first of its kind in Washington, opening soon

The program is a voluntary alternative for people to break the cycle of the revolving door of the criminal justice system, Spokane County leaders said.
Credit: Spokane County
Spokane County Commissioners, local elected officials, leaders in health care and criminal justice, and other stakeholders celebrated the soon-to-be opened new Spokane Regional Stabilization Center (SRSC), Sept. 13th.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Regional Stabilization Center (SRSC), which will be the first true pre-booking jail diversion option for eligible individuals and the first in Washington State to offer mental health, medical and substance use treatment services at a single location, is set to open in October. 

The stabilization center will be located at 1302 West Gardner Ave. in Spokane, and will provide recovery for individuals with disabling mental illness and substance use disorders.  

According to a report by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Research and Data Analysis Division, of the 143,610 individuals who were booked into jail in 2013, 58% had mental health treatment needs and 61% had substance use disorder treatment needs. That represents six in 10 individuals who were booked into jail.

The center will help to prevent and reduce chronic recidivism and unnecessary involvement in the criminal justice and emergency medical systems, according to a press release from Spokane County. 

Adults who encounter local law enforcement or other first responders will be the main population the center will serve, but other individuals who meet eligible criteria will also be considered for jail diversion. The facility is expected to start seeing patients beginning Oct. 26, county leaders said. 

This program is a voluntary alternative for individuals to break the cycle of the revolving door of the criminal justice system, and they will be eligible to have their charges dropped if the program is completed, according to the press release.

The center will provide medical behavioral health treatment and help individuals to transition for reentry care for recommended behavioral health treatment, housing, employment, and case management services. 

In 2017, regional partners started to create a framework for the facility and took part in multiple mentor site visits throughout the nation to observe best management practices.

The center will incorporate solutions from the Washington State Trueblood case for this region of Accountable Community of Care (ACH). Pioneer Human Services is the contracted Provider partnering with Spokane County and local municipalities for this facility.