County settles claim filed on behalf of former jail inmate

Following a year’s worth of efforts, the court today dismissed the pending lawsuit against Kitsap County and Kitsap Mental Health Services, after the parties involved reached a settlement agreement in the case of William Edward Trask.

Kitsap County’s portion of the settlement is funded by the county’s insurer, in large part an East Coast insurance firm. The agreed settlement amount, between Trask and all defendants, is for $4.7 million.

Trask is a developmentally disabled person who was arrested and incarcerated in the Kitsap County Jail in 2006 after his mother alleged he assaulted her. He was later released from jail and re-arrested the same day after his mother again reported a domestic violence incident in her home. The court later found Trask incompetent and the charges against him were dismissed.

“Mr. Trask’s situation is very serious, however it is an aberration,” Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer said. “The Kitsap County Jail is an excellent facility with professional staff. The experts cannot specifically identify the cause of his physical deterioration. However we are pleased that, through this settlement, Mr. Trask’s present and future care and health needs will be met.”

Today, local jails are faced with an ever increasing number of inmates with a wide array of special needs.

“The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office continues to work rigorously to increase and build upon corrections officer training, and improve medical, dependency and psychological services to inmates within our facility," Boyer added. “Our level of services and training now lead industry standards. While these enhancements are costly and difficult to obtain, especially during these economic times, I have continued to make them a priority. It’s the right thing to do.”

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