SLO County moves ahead with Laura’s Law

March 9, 2016

justice 2The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has declared it plans to adopt Laura’s Law, a state program that allows judges to order mentally ill individuals into treatment. On Tuesday, the supervisors endorsed a resolution on implementing the program.

Laura’s Law took effect in 2002, but counties can elect whether or not to adopt the program. Thus far, 12 California counties, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego counties, have adopted Laura’s Law.

Under Laura’s Law, a judge can order a person into treatment, not as punishment for a crime, but rather in response to the petition of local health officials. A mentally ill person must meet certain criteria before a judge can order the individual into treatment.

SLO County officials plan to target people who are suffering from untreated mental illness and display violent tendencies, either directed at themselves or others. Those individuals must have been jailed or hospitalized twice in the last 36 months for a judge to mandate treatment. Additionally, they must have committed violent acts or threatened to harm themselves or others in the last 48 months.

Health officials say about 10-12 people in the county who would qualify for the program annually. Once entered into the program, patients will be placed in housing and will receive therapy and medication.

At a November hearing on Laura’s Law, Anne Robin, the county behavioral health administrator, voiced concerns about the program forcing people who have not committed a crime to come before a court. Robin said that the law could violate civil liberties.

No members of the public spoke out about the issue on Tuesday.

The SLO County’s Laura’s Law program is expected to cost about $440,000 a year. In November, county staff estimated the program would cost about $640,000 a year.

The program is expected to begin in the upcoming fiscal year.


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10 Comments

  1. Citizen says:

    This is actually a good program, one that the county has avoided in the past, that will not cost much, and will help the severely mentally ill (and the families trying to take care of these people) who can’t or won’t stay on their medication.

    Do you want known dangerous schizophrenics in the middle of a psychotic episode wandering around killing people? This program will not apply to most mentally ill people, but it will apply to the known people most likely to commit a dangerous act by virtue of their past actions.

    Help stop the stigma by treating some of the “known mentally ill” who create the stigma by going on psychotic rampages . Doesn’t that make sense?

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  2. JB Bronson says:

    Looks like Adam Hill qualifys.

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
  3. achillesheal says:

    Hey judges! Walk through the downtown, parks and creek beds with a clipboard and start ordering.

    As I was driving down soon st toward downtown a filthy bum was pissing in the middle of Mitchell park adjacent to owls. Can you start with him?

    Clean up the bums in this town!

    (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
  4. TWEEKSBALMER says:

    Now we can finally get rid of Adumb Hill.

    (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
  5. nunsense says:

    how about a law to not release dangerous felon “undocumented” aliens into the general public? nah, that’s too harsh, after all, whats the worse that could happen?

    (23) 29 Total Votes - 26 up - 3 down
  6. r0y says:

    Who doesn’t love more government programs! Never mind the liberty-infringing path this starts down on, think of all the 10-12 people that will be helped! Definitely worth half a mil.

    Better start getting more staff, training, equipment, procedures, etc. Have to make some work to make some work, you know!

    (5) 23 Total Votes - 14 up - 9 down
    • TWEEKSBALMER says:

      For therapy they can work on Parkinsons Navy vessel.

      (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
    • laftch says:

      Rest assured, as is always the case the program will cost at least twice as much as the bureaucrats estimate. Also, must of us are to young or just to uninformed to remember how many “mentally ill” people were put away in the Soviet Union for the sickness of believing that the government was not working in the best interest of the people.

      (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  7. Rich in MB says:

    The Obvious questions is that the next time John or Adam melt down at the Counsel meetings, will they be carried away in a padded wagon?

    (32) 40 Total Votes - 36 up - 4 down

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