Mental health services information — Required inquiries and disclosures — Release to court, individuals, indeterminate sentence review board, state and local agencies.
*** CHANGE IN 2013 *** (SEE 1679-S.SL) ***
(1) When the department is determining an offender's risk management level, the department shall inquire of the offender and shall be told whether the offender is subject to court-ordered treatment for mental health services or chemical dependency services. The department shall request and the offender shall provide an authorization to release information form that meets applicable state and federal requirements and shall provide the offender with written notice that the department will request the offender's mental health and substance abuse treatment information. An offender's failure to inform the department of court-ordered treatment is a violation of the conditions of supervision if the offender is in the community and an infraction if the offender is in confinement, and the violation or infraction is subject to sanctions.
(2) When an offender discloses that he or she is subject to court-ordered mental health services or chemical dependency treatment, the department shall provide the mental health services provider or chemical dependency treatment provider with a written request for information and any necessary authorization to release information forms. The written request shall comply with rules adopted by the department of social and health services or protocols developed jointly by the department and the department of social and health services. A single request shall be valid for the duration of the offender's supervision in the community. Disclosures of information related to mental health services made pursuant to a department request shall not require consent of the offender.
(3) The information received by the department under RCW 71.05.445 or 71.34.345 may be released to the indeterminate sentence review board as relevant to carry out its responsibility of planning and ensuring community protection with respect to persons under its jurisdiction. Further disclosure by the indeterminate sentence review board is subject to the limitations set forth in subsections (5) and (6) of this section and must be consistent with the written policy of the indeterminate sentence review board. The decision to disclose or not shall not result in civil liability for the indeterminate sentence review board or staff assigned to perform board-related duties provided that the decision was reached in good faith and without gross negligence.
(4) The information received by the department under RCW 71.05.445 or 71.34.345 may be used to meet the statutory duties of the department to provide evidence or report to the court. Disclosure to the public of information provided to the court by the department related to mental health services shall be limited in accordance with RCW 9.94A.500 or this section.
(5) The information received by the department under RCW 71.05.445 or 71.34.345 may be disclosed by the department to other state and local agencies as relevant to plan for and provide offenders transition, treatment, and supervision services, or as relevant and necessary to protect the public and counteract the danger created by a particular offender, and in a manner consistent with the written policy established by the secretary. The decision to disclose or not shall not result in civil liability for the department or its employees so long as the decision was reached in good faith and without gross negligence. The information received by a state or local agency from the department shall remain confidential and subject to the limitations on disclosure set forth in chapters 70.02, 71.05, and 71.34 RCW and, subject to these limitations, may be released only as relevant and necessary to counteract the danger created by a particular offender.
(6) The information received by the department under RCW 71.05.445 or 71.34.345 may be disclosed by the department to individuals only with respect to offenders who have been determined by the department to have a high risk of reoffending by a risk assessment, as defined in RCW 9.94A.030, only as relevant and necessary for those individuals to take reasonable steps for the purpose of self-protection, or as provided in RCW 72.09.370(2). The information may not be disclosed for the purpose of engaging the public in a system of supervision, monitoring, and reporting offender behavior to the department. The department must limit the disclosure of information related to mental health services to the public to descriptions of an offender's behavior, risk he or she may present to the community, and need for mental health treatment, including medications, and shall not disclose or release to the public copies of treatment documents or records, except as otherwise provided by law. All disclosure of information to the public must be done in a manner consistent with the written policy established by the secretary. The decision to disclose or not shall not result in civil liability for the department or its employees so long as the decision was reached in good faith and without gross negligence. Nothing in this subsection prevents any person from reporting to law enforcement or the department behavior that he or she believes creates a public safety risk.
[2011 1st sp.s. c 40 § 24; 2004 c 166 § 5; 2000 c 75 § 4.]
| Application -- Recalculation of community custody terms -- 2011 1st sp.s. c 40: See note following RCW 9.94A.501.|
Severability -- Effective dates -- 2004 c 166: See notes following RCW 71.05.040.
Intent -- 2000 c 75: See note following RCW 71.05.445.