Kittitas County Jail expands mental health services to inmates with the help of a local provider


The Kittitas County Corrections Center has launched a new program that provides in-house behavioral health services.

Under a new partnership with Comprehensive Healthcare, the jail now has access to a full-time therapist that can treat inmates without them needing to leave the facility.

“Having a resource that’s readily available five days a week, eight hours a day, as part of our normal operations will assist us in making sure that we can help get inmates the right services quicker services,” Lieutenant Ed Buntin of the county jail.

According to a press release from Comprehensive Health, the full-time therapist will screen incoming inmates for behavioral health concerns, facilitate both individual and group therapy sessions, prescribe mediations and handle crises. 

“It’s really just an opportunity to expand a program that is lacking in a jail setting and kind of put us up there with the bigger county jails and prisons that have these processes [already] in place,” Buntin said.

According to Buntin, the goal of this program is to give inmates help while their in jail so that they can make better choices once they get out.

“We can make sure that when they are released from jail or going to their next destination, they have every tool and opportunity to succeed,” Buntin said. 

The new therapist will also work with inmates leaving the facility to ensure they acquire follow-up treatment and outpatient therapy.

“Hopefully, the tools will be measured over time, and we’ll see a lower return rate, less crime, and just better resources for people to get out of jail and go back to living a normal life and being an effective member of the community,” Buntin said.