HILLSBORO, Ore. (March 7, 2023) — The Washington County District Attorney’s Office is pleased to announce the 2022 metrics for Washington County’s Rapid Fitness to Proceed Program.

The Rapid Fitness to Proceed Program aims to improve the efficiency of the “fitness to proceed” process to reduce the time offenders spend in jail awaiting fitness to proceed determinations. Under Oregon law, when the court has reason to doubt a defendant’s fitness to proceed by reason of incapacity due to a qualifying mental illness, the court may order an examination to determine whether the defendant possesses the capacity to understand the nature of the proceedings and ability to aid and assist in his or her defense. If an offender is determined not to have the capacity to proceed, the offender is transferred to a state hospital to receive treatment for an assigned duration.

The Rapid Fitness to Proceed Program was established in 2020 in collaboration with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the defense bar, mental health services and the Washington County Circuit Court. Through partnering with NW Forensic Institute and Lithia Forensics and Consulting, Washington County stakeholders reduced the turnaround time of a process that once took 62 days to as little as 16 days.

“The Rapid Fitness to Proceed program is one of many examples of public safety and justice system partners working together to keep our community safe,” remarked Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett. “This program helps us make the most of limited jail capacity and improves overall community safety.”

From January 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022, the Rapid Fitness to Proceed Program saved 1,472 total jail days for 39 defendants, freeing up critically needed jail space for other criminal defendants awaiting court appearances. If calculated in dollars and cents at $264.78 per person, per day, this would amount to $475,015.32. Through this improved efficiency, offenders arrested for lower-level crimes spend less time in jail pre-trial, freeing up limited jail space for more dangerous offenders.

“Our Rapid Fitness to Proceed program continues to show great results,” said District Attorney Kevin Barton. “At a time when resources are stretched and we need to be as efficient as possible, this innovative program allows us to prioritize the use of hospital beds for those who need treatment and jail beds for those who need incarceration.”

To learn more about this program and to access a referral form needed to initiate an evaluation, visit our Rapid Fitness to Proceed page.

Media contact information
Traci Muldoon
Public Information Officer
March 07, 2023