Seeking a proactive approach
"There's a whole layer of people out there who commit a nuisance offense or are panhandling. They are mentally ill. Everyone knows it but the legal wraps around involuntary treatment don't qualify them."
Yakima police chief echoed the sentiments and said when his patrol officers encounter a person with mental instability, they have no choice but to take the person to jail.
"If we had a program that gives us an option other than jail and help reduce the
jail population, that is a big draw," he said.
Washington State law allows for assisted outpatient treatment (called a “less restrictive alternative” or an “LRA”). It also has a good mental health treatment standard. Why does the state fail to use them to help people before they fall into the criminal justice system?