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Mental Health Services
Corrections Mental Health Services
The current mental health program at the Pierce County Detention and Corrections Center (PCDCC) began as the result of a cooperative agreement between the Pierce County Sheriff and Human Services on March 1, 1991. This agreement arose out of the recognition that large numbers of mentally ill individuals were incarcerated at PCDCC and that they are entitled to adequate treatment while in custody or referral to other treatment resources if that is in the best interest of the mentally ill individual and the community.

A recent nationwide study estimates that of the approximately 2.1 million Americans in jail and prison, approximately one in five inmates, are seriously mentally ill. These figures indicate that the number of mentally ill in jails and prisons far outnumber those in the nation's state psychiatric hospitals. In 2002, PCDCC mental health professionals (MHP) recorded a total of 12,143 contacts with inmates suffering from a mental disorder.

Contact Us
The Mental Health Professionals at PCDCC can be reached at (253) 798-4013 and we encourage the inmate's natural supports, family and friends, to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Mental Health Program Values
We have a commitment to promoting public safety and individual well being through continuity of care.
  • Providing necessary and timely support to each consumer experiencing a mental disorder in order to assist each toward their recovery
  • Recognition and affirmation of the unique and intrinsic worth of each individual
  • Treating all those we serve with compassion and kindness while being mindful of the importance of accountability
  • Acting with honesty, integrity and fairness in the way we conduct our business

Community Health System
The current program promotes the position that the mentally ill jail inmate must be viewed as a community issue. Since most inmates spend a relatively short time in custody is it imperative that there be a strong link between the community mental health system and mental health services at PCDCC. We strive to deliver high quality, cost effective mental health services in cooperation with criminal justice, correction and community service providers, for the at-risk mentally ill inmate.

The MHP coordinates mental health treatment with PCDCC's staff psychiatrist, advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) and medical team, to provide continuity of care from the community to the jail, and coordinates release planning, including referrals to mental health agencies. The MHP acts also as a crisis intervention specialist, assessing the risk of an inmate to themselves or others, and makes appropriate housing and treatment recommendations. The MHP interfaces with the court to provide evaluations and assessments.