DSHS Agrees to Monitoring of Western State Hospital's Center for Forensic Services

Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Washington State Department of Social & Health Services

    OLYMPIA, Wash., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Social and
 Health Services (DSHS) and the Washington Protection and Advocacy System
 (WPAS) have agreed to conduct a court-sanctioned monitoring of the Center for
 Forensic Services at Western State Hospital in Lakewood.
     The monitoring results from negotiations after a lawsuit was filed by WPAS
 to request federal court control over the Center for Forensic Services.  This
 is a partial settlement of the issues raised by WPAS.  Negotiations continue
 on the remaining issues with a resolution planned by the end of May.
     The Center for Forensic Services administers programs for people ordered
 to Western State Hospital by the courts to assess competency or treat insanity
 as part of criminal court proceedings.  The Center serves about 1,100 clients
 each year.
     DSHS and WPAS will each appoint one member of a monitoring committee that
 will work for eighteen months.  Both sides will receive periodic reports from
 the Monitoring Committee.  If approved by the federal court, this procedure
 will avoid a trial on certain issues raised by WPAS and will be the basis for
 an agreement on operations of the Center.
     The Monitoring Committee has a budget of up to $25,000 to employ outside
 experts.  Total cost of the monitoring is expected to be $250,000.
     Tim Brown, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Health and Rehabilitation
 Services Administration, said the Center for Forensic Services is a core
 service of DSHS and is not being ignored.
     "Evidence of the DSHS commitment to this valuable service is the state's
 investment of $40 million to construct a new Forensics Center building on the
 Western State Hospital campus," Brown said.  "It will open in seven months."
 
 

SOURCE Washington State Department of Social & Health Services
    OLYMPIA, Wash., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Social and
 Health Services (DSHS) and the Washington Protection and Advocacy System
 (WPAS) have agreed to conduct a court-sanctioned monitoring of the Center for
 Forensic Services at Western State Hospital in Lakewood.
     The monitoring results from negotiations after a lawsuit was filed by WPAS
 to request federal court control over the Center for Forensic Services.  This
 is a partial settlement of the issues raised by WPAS.  Negotiations continue
 on the remaining issues with a resolution planned by the end of May.
     The Center for Forensic Services administers programs for people ordered
 to Western State Hospital by the courts to assess competency or treat insanity
 as part of criminal court proceedings.  The Center serves about 1,100 clients
 each year.
     DSHS and WPAS will each appoint one member of a monitoring committee that
 will work for eighteen months.  Both sides will receive periodic reports from
 the Monitoring Committee.  If approved by the federal court, this procedure
 will avoid a trial on certain issues raised by WPAS and will be the basis for
 an agreement on operations of the Center.
     The Monitoring Committee has a budget of up to $25,000 to employ outside
 experts.  Total cost of the monitoring is expected to be $250,000.
     Tim Brown, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Health and Rehabilitation
 Services Administration, said the Center for Forensic Services is a core
 service of DSHS and is not being ignored.
     "Evidence of the DSHS commitment to this valuable service is the state's
 investment of $40 million to construct a new Forensics Center building on the
 Western State Hospital campus," Brown said.  "It will open in seven months."
 
 SOURCE  Washington State Department of Social & Health Services