May 20, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Los Angeles County to Open CARE Court One Year Earlier Than Planned

Program Seeks to Solve Mental Health Crisis Among the Unhoused

By Dolores Quintana

In a collaborative effort led by Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), and the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office/Independent Defense Counsel Office (IDCO), the state-funded Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Court program is set to commence on December 1. 

The California ACLU and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have gone on the record objecting to what HRW calls the CARE Court “a system of involuntary, coerced treatment, enforced by an expanded judicial infrastructure that will, in practice, simply remove unhoused people with perceived mental health conditions from the public eye without effectively addressing those mental health conditions and without meeting the urgent need for housing.”

However, the state of California is going full steam ahead with the CARE Courts after the law, SB 1338, was passed and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. Three counties piloted the program, San Francisco, Orange, and San Diego; the rest of California will follow Los Angeles County’s December 1 start by the end of the year. 

According to the press release from Los Angeles County Supervisor Janet Hahn, The CARE Court initiative allows qualified individuals, including family members, spouses, roommates, emergency responders, or licensed medical and mental health professionals, to petition the court for treatment and services for those suffering from untreated schizophrenia and associated psychotic disorders.

Supervisor Hahn expressed the significance of CARE Court, stating, “I talk to too many families who have struggled to get help for their loved ones with severe mental illness, and we see too many people with schizophrenia on the streets. CARE Court is a tool we have been missing in LA County.”

Originally slated for a December 2024 launch, the Court and the County opted to expedite the program by one year, demonstrating their commitment to addressing the pressing mental health crisis. Supervisor Kathryn Barger noted, “Our courts are an important asset and can be a change agent in the lives of many. By creating this special partnership between the courts and our mental health systems, we are creating a pathway towards healing and rehabilitation.”

The CARE program aims to provide support through a CARE Plan, offering housing options and connections to social services for qualified individuals. Supervisor Solis emphasized the importance of CARE Court in addressing the mental health crisis on the streets, stating, “CARE Court will be an important tool to address an individual’s need with dignity and respect.”

To access services, interested parties, including family members and clinicians, can file a CARE Act petition, which is free of charge. Eligibility requirements and additional details are available at www.lacourt.org/care.

Presiding Judge Samantha P. Jessner expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts enabling the launch of CARE Court one year ahead of schedule. She emphasized the program’s potential to provide support and empowerment to individuals suffering from mental health disorders.

CARE Court offers an alternative path for vulnerable individuals, steering them away from jails and emergency rooms. Participants can receive comprehensive support, including counseling, medication, and social services. The program is voluntary, allowing participants to leave at any time, and no civil or criminal penalties are imposed for non-participation.

Ricardo D. Garcia, LA County Public Defender, highlighted the unique approach of CARE Court, stating, “Unlike traditional judicial proceedings that focus on compelling compliance through punishment, CARE Court takes the opposite approach. It creates a specific judicial process to pull together holistic services for respondents while surrounding them with a team of family members and professionals to help them stay on track.”

CARE Court begins accepting petitions on December 1, with electronic submission options available. For more information on LACDMH services, visit dmh.lacounty.gov/get-help-now/ or call 1-800-854-7771 for assistance. Crisis support is also available through the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988 or by texting ‘LA’ to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor via text message.

in NEWS
Related Posts

Cynthia Erivo, Mickalene Thomas, and MUNA Honored at Star-Studded Event

May 19, 2024

May 19, 2024

Los Angeles LGBT Center Gala Raises $1.6M for LGBTQ+ Services The Los Angeles LGBT Center raised $1.6 million at its...

Hepatitis A Case Reported in Beverly Hills Whole Foods Employee

May 19, 2024

May 19, 2024

Health Officials Advise Vaccination for Seafood Customers  The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is investigating a hepatitis A...

Assault Suspect Arrested After High-Speed, Wrong Way Chase on 405 Freeway

May 19, 2024

May 19, 2024

Erratic Driver Rams Police Car, Causes Multiple Collisions During Pursuit An erratic driver suspected of assault with a deadly weapon...

Mayor Bass Orders Increased Police Presence on LA Metro After Surge in Violence

May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024

A Shocking Murder Was Committed on a Metro Bus After Announcement Mayor Karen Bass has directed an increase in law...

Inaugural Design Miami.LA Fair Opens in Holmby Hills

May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024

Exclusive Access and Dynamic Talks From May 16-20 The inaugural edition of Design Miami.LA opened yesterday, running until May 20,...

(Video) Design Miami LA Is Now Open in Holmby Hills

May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024

Sainte Marguerite en Provence Is the exclusive rosé sponsor. Welcome to the Greenhouse. @centurycitywestwoodnews Design Miami LA Is Now Open...

Shock-A-Go-Go Film Festival Returns to Lumiere Cinema in Beverly Hills

May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024

A Weekend of Horror, and Cult Classics With Exclusive Q&A Sessions The Shock-A-Go-Go Film Festival is set to return to...

Devastating Fire Closes Historic Westwood Restaurant, Causing Serious Damage

May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024

Roozbeh Farahanipour Launches GoFundMe to Restore Cultural Tribute The Persian Gulf Restaurant and Museum in Westwood has sustained serious damage...

Culver City Police Seek Help in Identifying Elderly Woman Found Near Hospital

May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024

Urgent Assistance Needed to Locate Family of Disoriented Woman Culver City Police are urgently seeking the public’s assistance in identifying...

Beverly Hills Art Show Returns for Spring Weekend Extravaganza

May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024

Join the Celebration of Art in Beverly Gardens Park Art aficionados and families are invited to join the City of...

UAW 4811 Votes Overwhelmingly to Authorize Strike Against University of California System

May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024

Union Responds to Alleged Unfair Labor Practices with Strike Authorization Vote United Auto Workers 4811, the International Union, United Automobile,...

Metro Offers Free Rides to Billie Eilish’s Hit Me Hard and Soft Listening Party

May 15, 2024

May 15, 2024

Fans Provided Convenient Transportation Options to Kia Forum Venue With excitement building for Billie Eilish’s much-anticipated Hit Me Hard and...

Palmer Candy Company Recalls “White Coated Confectionary Items” Over Salmonella Concerns

May 15, 2024

May 15, 2024

Products Distributed in California Stores Pose Potential Health Risk Palmer Candy Company has issued a voluntary recall of its “White...

(Video) Hang-Ten Therapeutics Uses Sand, Ocean and Surfboards as a Source of Empowerment

May 15, 2024

May 15, 2024

More Information at hang-tentherapuetics.com @smmirrornews Surf therapy is a source of empowerment #therapy #surfing #losangeles #fyp #santamonica ♬ original sound...