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10.77.260  <<  10.77.270 >>   10.77.810

RCW 10.77.270

Independent public safety review panel — Members — Secretary to submit recommendation — Access to records — Support, rules — Report.

(1) The secretary shall establish an independent public safety review panel for the purpose of advising the secretary and the courts with respect to persons who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, or persons committed under the involuntary treatment act where the court has made a special finding under RCW 71.05.280(3)(b). The panel shall provide advice regarding all recommendations to the secretary, decisions by the secretary, or actions pending in court: (a) For a change in commitment status; (b) to allow furloughs or temporary leaves accompanied by staff; (c) not to seek further commitment terms under RCW 71.05.320; or (d) to permit movement about the grounds of the treatment facility, with or without the accompaniment of staff.

     (2) The members of the public safety review panel shall be appointed by the governor for a renewable term of three years and shall include the following:

     (a) A psychiatrist;

     (b) A licensed clinical psychologist;

     (c) A representative of the department of corrections;

     (d) A prosecutor or a representative of a prosecutor's association;

     (e) A representative of law enforcement or a law enforcement association;

     (f) A consumer and family advocate representative; and

     (g) A public defender or a representative of a defender's association.

     (3) Thirty days prior to issuing a recommendation for conditional release under RCW 10.77.150 or forty-five days prior to issuing a recommendation for release under RCW 10.77.200, the secretary shall submit its recommendation with the committed person's application and the department's risk assessment to the public safety review panel. The public safety review panel shall complete an independent assessment of the public safety risk entailed by the secretary's proposed conditional release recommendation or release recommendation and provide this assessment in writing to the secretary. The public safety review panel may, within funds appropriated for this purpose, request additional evaluations of the committed person. The public safety review panel may indicate whether it is in agreement with the secretary's recommendation, or whether it would issue a different recommendation. The secretary shall provide the panel's assessment when it is received along with any supporting documentation, including all previous reports of evaluations of the committed person in the person's hospital record, to the court, prosecutor in the county that ordered the person's commitment, and counsel for the committed person.

     (4) The secretary shall notify the public safety review panel at appropriate intervals concerning any changes in the commitment or custody status of persons found not guilty by reason of insanity, or persons committed under the involuntary treatment act where the court has made a special finding under RCW 71.05.280(3)(b). The panel shall have access, upon request, to a committed person's complete hospital record, and any other records deemed necessary by the public safety review panel.

     (5) The department shall provide administrative and financial support to the public safety review panel. The department, in consultation with the public safety review panel, may adopt rules to implement this section.

     (6) By December 1, 2014, the public safety review panel shall report to the appropriate legislative committees the following:

     (a) Whether the public safety review panel has observed a change in statewide consistency of evaluations and decisions concerning changes in the commitment status of persons found not guilty by reason of insanity;

     (b) Whether the public safety review panel should be given the authority to make release decisions and monitor release conditions;

     (c) Whether further changes in the law are necessary to enhance public safety when incompetency prevents operation of the criminal justice system and long-term commitment of the criminally insane; and

     (d) Any other issues the public safety review panel deems relevant.

[2013 c 289 § 3; 2010 c 263 § 1.]

Notes:

     Findings -- 2013 c 289: See note following RCW 10.77.086.