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Diversion from Legal Competency Services

Diversion from Legal Competency Services

Diversion and Reentry Services


All individuals charged with a crime have the constitutional right to understand the nature of the charges against them and assist in their defense (e.g. legal competence).

If a court believes a mental health issue may prevent a person from aiding in their defense, the court puts the criminal case on hold (per RCW 10.77) while an evaluation is completed to determine that individual’s legal competence to proceed with the criminal court case. 

If the individual is found not competent, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) is required to provide them with competency restoration services in a timely fashion, after which point the criminal case may proceed. The majority of competency restoration services are provided in the forensic units of Western State Hospital, or at facilities in Yakima or Centralia.

Watch a video on  Legal Competency and Diversion for Behavioral Health Providers from Washington State’s Department of Social and Human Services.

For More Information

Contact Jon Hamilton

Diversion and Reentry Program Specialist

(206) 477-9191

Resources for Providers

Forms and Documents for LEAD Trueblood Providers:

  Online LEAD Referral Form

More information on LINC, download:

  King County LINC Brochure

To make a LINC Referral: 

  LINC Referral Form


Trueblood et al. v. Washington State DSHS

Trueblood v. State of Washington Department of Human and Social Services, No.2:2014cv01178, Washington Western District Court, 2015, is a federal class action lawsuit challenging unconstitutional delays in competency evaluation and restoration services.


LEAD Expansion to Serve Individuals with Mental Health Conditions

The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) arrest diversion program is a collaborative community safety effort that offers law enforcement a credible alternative to booking people into jail.


Legal Intervention and Network of Care (LINC)

The Legal Intervention and Network of Care (LINC) program provides behavioral health treatment in lieu of prosecution for individuals with mental health and substance use conditions who have been booked into jail for misdemeanors and low level felonies.

Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9000

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-0583