Mental Health Services

Defendants under pretrial release are assessed for substance use disorders and/or mental health needs, and connected with treatment and social services through PSA’s Social Services and Assessment Center (SSAC). The SSAC serves as a comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder treatment assessment center for defendants. The SSAC also makes referrals for employment, housing, and/or other social services.

Because substance involvement sometimes coexists with mental health problems, an effective substance use disorder treatment program also must be able to treat those with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. The Specialized Supervision Unit (SSU) provides specialized services and supervision to defendants with mental illness, mild mental retardation and/or co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. In administering these services, the SSU works collaboratively with the District’s Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Administration, and designated mental health service providers.

The Options Program is a separate program within the SSU with services funded by DBH that has a limited capacity and features a DBH service provider with a reduced caseload ratio to provide intensified supervision services. A limited number of housing placements are available.

The SSU is operated by PSA‘s Treatment Program and provides critical support for the D.C. Superior Court‘s Mental Health Community Court.

PSA’s Treatment Program also operates the D.C. Misdemeanor/Traffic Initiative, which provides supervision to certain defendants in need of substance use disorder or mental health-related treatment. Targeted defendants are those who need treatment and are charged with certain misdemeanors prosecuted by the D.C. Office of the Attorney General. PSA identifies, screens, drug tests, assesses, links with services, and provides basic pretrial supervision and court reporting for these defendants. 

PSA has limited beds allocated at the Re-Entry and Sanctions Center (RSC) to serve males with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. The RSC is a treatment readiness program designed to prepare the defendant for subsequent entry to a residential or intensive outpatient treatment program. The 28-day program provides defendants with treatment readiness, comprehensive assessments, and life skills. The RSC is operated by the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia (CSOSA).