Felony Mental Health Court

Eligibility Criteria

Pierce County Felony Mental Health Court program participants:

  • Have a diagnosed serious and persistent major mental illness;
  • Demonstrate a likelihood they will benefit from treatment;
  • Are competent, under RCW 10.77;
  • Are charged with a felony in Pierce County Superior Court that does not involve the use of a firearm, is not a sex offense, and did not cause substantial or great bodily harm;
  • Have a link between their charge and their mental health;
  • Are Pierce County residents
See Policy for Full Criteria

Program Goals

Pierce County FMHC partners with community agencies, such as Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare to:

  • Reduce recidivism
  • Improve public safety
  • Expedite case processing for individuals with mental illness involved in the justice system
  • Increase access to mental health treatment, chemical dependency treatment and other resources
  • Increase communication between the criminal justice and mental health systems

FMHC Expectations

What does FMHC expect of each participant?
  • Maintain law-abiding behavior
  • Comply with all treatment recommendations, including for treatment of mental health, substance use and/or domestic violence.
  • Take all medication exactly as prescribed
  • Maintain housing and follow all rules of residence
  • Comply with all urine analysis sample requests.
  • Appear in court for all reviews, as directed, initially weekly
  • Sign Releases of Information to allow treatment providers to communicate with each other and the court.


Incentives are used to assist the participant in achieving treatment goals based upon recommendations from the FMHC team. Examples include:

  • Verbal reinforcement from the Judge and Prosecutor
  • Going early on the docket
  • Certificates of achievement
  • Reduced frequency of court appearances
  • Group completion
  • Graduation


Sanctions are used to assist the participant in achieving treatment goals. At any time, a participant may be assessed for a higher level of treatment. The judge imposes sanctions after hearing from the participant, counsel and coordinator. Examples of sanctions include:
  • Community Service
  • Written essays
  • Court observation
  • Increased frequency of court appearances
  • Daily Check-ins
  • Jail
  • Termination of FMHC program participation