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RCW 71.05.010

Legislative intent.

The provisions of this chapter are intended by the legislature:

     (1) To prevent inappropriate, indefinite commitment of mentally disordered persons and to eliminate legal disabilities that arise from such commitment;

     (2) To provide prompt evaluation and timely and appropriate treatment of persons with serious mental disorders;

     (3) To safeguard individual rights;

     (4) To provide continuity of care for persons with serious mental disorders;

     (5) To encourage the full use of all existing agencies, professional personnel, and public funds to prevent duplication of services and unnecessary expenditures;

     (6) To encourage, whenever appropriate, that services be provided within the community;

     (7) To protect the public safety.

[1998 c 297 § 2; 1997 c 112 § 2; 1989 c 120 § 1; 1973 1st ex.s. c 142 § 6.]


     Effective dates -- 1998 c 297: "This act takes effect July 1, 1998, except for sections 18, 35, 38, and 39 of this act, which take effect March 1, 1999." [1998 c 297 § 53.]

     Severability -- 1998 c 297: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1998 c 297 § 58.]

     Intent -- 1998 c 297: "It is the intent of the legislature to: (1) Clarify that it is the nature of a person's current conduct, current mental condition, history, and likelihood of committing future acts that pose a threat to public safety or himself or herself, rather than simple categorization of offenses, that should determine treatment procedures and level; (2) improve and clarify the sharing of information between the mental health and criminal justice systems; and (3) provide additional opportunities for mental health treatment for persons whose conduct threatens himself or herself or threatens public safety and has led to contact with the criminal justice system.

     The legislature recognizes that a person can be incompetent to stand trial, but may not be gravely disabled or may not present a likelihood of serious harm. The legislature does not intend to create a presumption that a person who is found incompetent to stand trial is gravely disabled or presents a likelihood of serious harm requiring civil commitment." [1998 c 297 § 1.]