The Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the County’s state legislative agenda by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich to support an extension of Laura’s Law scheduled to sunset January 1, 2013. Laura’s Law is a proactive, compassionate program providing medical treatment for the County’s mentally ill.
“It is vital that this life-saving program be extended to help the mentally ill recover and live productive lives,” said Antonovich.
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Laura’s Law reformed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Law, which prohibited judges, families, and physicians from compelling the severely mentally ill to accept treatment.
A pilot program initiated by Antonovich in Los Angeles County has successfully stabilized and reintegrated participants back into the community with a 78% reduction in incarcerations and a 77% reduction in hospitalizations. These reductions cut the costs to the community and taxpayers by almost 40% and significantly improved the lives of program participants.
Laura’s Law is patterned after New York State’s Kendra’s Law, has shown tremendous success after just five years. Data conclusively demonstrates that assisted outpatient treatment significantly reduces severe consequences for participants:
- 74% fewer people experienced homelessness
- 77% fewer experienced psychiatric hospitalization
- 83% fewer experienced arrest
- 87% fewer experienced incarceration
- 55% fewer attempted suicide or self-harm
- 49% fewer abused alcohol
- 48% fewer abused drugs
- 57% fewer physically harmed others
- 43% fewer threatened others with physical harm
- 46% fewer damaged or destroyed property
The County’s state legislative agenda is scheduled to be considered at the Board of Supervisors’ next regular meeting on Tuesday December 20, 2011.