The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week threw its weight behind Laura’s Law –- which allows counties to create court-ordered outpatient mental health treatment for the severely ill who have cycled through hospitals or jails and refused voluntary care -- saying in a resolution that such programs have been shown to “significantly reduce” homelessness, hospitalization and arrest.
The resolution, authored by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, directs the county’s chief executive and legislative advocates to get behind five new state bills that would make it easier for counties to create such programs and secure “mental health treatment for those who refuse to get help on their own.”
The back story: It’s been a whole decade since state lawmakers passed Laura’s Law, which was patterned after New York State’s Kendra’s Law but didn’t come with any funding. It also required approval by each county board of supervisors. In all that time, only Nevada County, where the law’s namesake, Laura Wilcox, was shot to death by a mental health client who had begun refusing treatment, has implemented one.