We strongly congratulate the Orange County Board of Supervisors for adopting Laura’s Law, allowing courts to order the mentally ill into outpatient treatment when they have demonstrated they can neither control nor care for themselves. Orange County is now the first government agency in California to proactively begin to address what has become one of our most shameful civic failures.

When California’s rural Nevada County adopted Laura’s Law by court order, jail sentences, homelessness, hospitalizations and emergency responses all dropped significantly in both frequency and cost.

We hope for similar results, but as the first large urban county to adopt Laura’s Law, it is up to us to pay close attention to what happens next; if we see the same results, the rest of the nation will undoubtedly sit up and take notice.

This is the right choice for all the people of Orange County, but we know this is only the first step on a long road. There are many challenges ahead, among them lawsuits from opponents who believe court- ordered treatment is trampling on the rights of the mentally ill.

We understand and respect their position, but we ask them to realize that what we are doing now isn’t working.

Simply throwing more money at a dysfunctional process legally hamstrung by a lack of effective, enforceable options will only lead to more preventable human tragedy.

We do not support anything that might imperil individual freedom of choice lightly, but it would be deeply irresponsible to continue to ignore the danger the mentally ill pose to themselves and others.

The public has the right to live free from fear. The mentally ill deserve the help they need to break out of the endless cycle of homelessness, addiction, arrest and serial incarceration so many face.

Let’s have no more massacres like those in Aurora, Colo. or at Virginia Tech. Let’s have no more Sandy Hooks, and no more pointless deaths like that of Kelly Thomas. Let’s have no more of the countless, less public tragedies that shatter individual lives on a daily basis.
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The people in Nevada County, CA love Laura’s Law — this video features the director of mental health, Heggerty and Judge Anderson and they show how it really works.
Click on picture below to watch the video.



Comment by Judge Tom Anderson
Presiding Judge, Superior Court of CaliforniaCounty of Nevada
"Laura's Law provides an effective tool to help people who are in serious danger of being involuntarily hospitalized or incarcerated or worse.  The impact of Laura’s Law interventions has been proven to save people from severe mental health deterioration, increase voluntary participation in their own mental health care, increase personal and social stability, decrease the need for crisis intervention and saving of lots of taxpayer money. There is no good reason to not implement Laura’s Law.  In fact, under the current circumstances (considering the budget issues and standards of care) the failure to utilize Laura’s Law might be considered negligent."

Please also watch the video posted under, "Poor Insight"to understand why Laura's Law is needed to help those too ill to help themselves.

 
 

A Functional Outlineof Laura's Law - AB 1421

Laura's Law, signed into CA law in 2002, allows court-ordered, intensive outpatient treatment for people with severe mental illnesses who refuse medication because the illness impairs their ability to make rational decisions.

In those counties that adopt it, the AB 1421 program would permit people who are severely disabled by mental illness--and currently caught in a revolving door of homelessness, incarceration, and hospitalization--to receive timely, continuous, and supervised treatment in the community.
 
To View the Outline
Click Here

Myth vs. Facts

There are some profound misconceptions
about Laura's Law
Learn the FACTS
Click Here

OC Register - Dec. 11


"Mental Illness:
It's a family affair"

NAMI-OC President
shares his family story
Read the article

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