SEATTLE - So far this year, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services paid out $69,500 to people in jail.
Last week, a judged ordered the state to pay a man in jail, who is charged with two violent attacks, $250 a day from taxpayers.
A FOX 13 News investigation uncovered this is just one of several payouts the state is making.
Officials with the Department of Social and Health Services tell us so far this year, they have paid $69,500 to six different people.
- Patient 1: May 6, 2020 until July 31, 87 days = $21,750
- Patient 2: May 6, 2021 until May 11, 2021, 5 days= $1,250
- Patient 3: No data = $18,000
- Patient 4; January 6, 2022 to March 10, 2022, 63 days= $15,750
- Patient 5: No data= $5,500
- Patient 6: No data= $7,250
The reason for these payments is due to a lack of space in mental health facilities.
All the people who received payouts were supposed to be receiving court ordered mental health treatment. However, due to a lack of space at state hospitals, they sat in jail instead.
Based on a November 2021 case titled State v. Luvert, a judge ruled this is a violation of rights. DSHS tell FOX 13 News the payouts started following this case.
According to documents FOX 13 News obtained, in the State v. Luvert case, an assault suspect sat in jail for 120 days, while waiting for an inpatient competency evaluation.
However, due to COVID, Western State Hospital temporarily closed its doors to forensic patients.
The person sat in jail for months in the Spring of 2020.
The court found the suspect’s rights were violated, and awarded her $250 per day that she sat in jail.
According to DSHS, there are nearly 400 hundred people in jail waiting for beds to open in state mental health hospitals.
- Misdemeanor competency restoration orders: 60 clients are waiting in jail statewide for admission.
- 45-day first felony competency restoration: 202 clients are waiting in jail statewide for admission.
- 90-day first felony competency restoration: 131 clients are waiting in jail statewide for admission.
In the case of Alexander Jay, the suspect in the March attack, the state owes him about $7,000. A judge ordered Jay get mental health treatment in April, however he is still in jail.
Officials with DSHS, say as of right now, a bed will not be available for Jay until mid-August. At that rate, Jay will end up costing taxpayers about $17,000.