Care NOT Cages! Mental Health Care vs. Incarceration Victory

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Today, February 12, 2019, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to stop the building of the Consolidated Correctional Facility and the Mira Loma Women’s Center Project, a $3.5 billion project that would have continued the incarceration of predominantly Black and Brown people for mental health and substance abuse disorders.

The decision comes on the heels of years of advocacy from Community Coalition, Justice Los Angeles, Dignity Power Now, Youth Justice Coalition, Californians United for Responsible Budget and many other community groups that represent affected communities.

This is a monumental VICTORY for Los Angeles County and a vital paradigm shift for how the criminal justice system treats mental illness. Los Angeles County incarcerates a third of the state’s prison population, and approximately 70% of its jail population has been diagnosed with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders.

The Board of Supervisors proposal is moving away from the Consolidated Correctional Facility and instead shifting the design to a Mental Health Treatment Center. The Board suggests a treatment-first approach for the facility and placing it under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health Services and Department of Mental Health, instead of the Sheriff's Department.

CA 1st State to Eliminate Cash Bail

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • New bill takes effect October 2019

  • Bail to be replaced with a risk assessment system determined by each county

  • Non-violent, misdemeanor suspects released within 12 hours of booking

  • Violent felony suspects not eligible for pre-trial release

 

SUPPORTERS: FINALLY AN END TO THE UNFAIR PRACTICE OF IMPRISONING PEOPLE SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE POOR.

 

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