Mental Health Court

Mental Health Court is a specialized court where the judge, defense, prosecution, probation counselors, and a mental health clinician all work as a team to improve the life and outcomes for the client. It is a voluntary program where participants are referred from judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, jail staff, or others. Mental Health Court has saved thousands of jail days, thousands of hospital bed days, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in jail costs to the City of Seattle.

To become a participant, the key factor is determining if the criminal activity is related to or caused by any type of mental illness, including from developmental disabilities, brain injury, or dementia. Eligible participants may be facing any type of charge and can be a first-time offender or have a lengthy record. Review our Seattle Mental Health Court Eligibility Guidelines for additional information.

How It Works

  • Individuals referred to the Mental Health Court voluntarily agree to two years of probation, combined with specialized treatment.
  • A clinical mental health expert will assess the client's needs and provide a treatment plan.
  • Probation counselors individually meet with clients on a regular basis, for up to two years.
  • The judge holds review hearings to monitor progress and provide praise, guidance, and direction.

Mental Health Court Goals

  • Improve overall public safety.
  • Reduce jail time and repeat interaction with the criminal justice system for mentally ill individuals.
  • Connect or re-connect mentally ill individuals with needed mental health services.
  • Improve likelihood of ongoing success with treatment, access to housing or shelter, and critical support for mentally ill individuals.

Mental Health Court Forms

MHC Referral Instructions

MHC Referral Form

MHC Release of Information

Additional attorney court forms can be found here.

Contact Information

Kristin Walker
Email: kriwalker@kingcounty.gov
Phone: (206) 263-3574

Other Courts and Mental Health Resources