mipologo
Bookmark and Share

MIPO Home Page| Federal Legislation | NYS & Kendra's Law Subsite|CA & Laura's Law Subsite| CA MHSA/Prop 63 Subsite | SAMHSA Subsite | Best Article | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | About |

Laura's Law & Other Serious Mental Illness Legislation in California

(Mental Health Services Act Problems Home Page Moved Here)

March 2015: SUMMARY OF 2 IMPORTANT LAURA'S LAW BILLS THAT PASSED MENTAL HEATLH COMMITTEE 4/15/2015 (Text: AB 59 Waldron & AB 1193 Eggman)

Laura's Law (Assisted Outpatient Treatment/AOT) allows courts--after extensive due process, to order a small subset of people with serious mental illness who meet very narrowly defined criteria to accept treatment as a condition of living in the community. It also allows courts to order the recalcitrant mental health system to provide treatment. Counties have the option to implement Laura's Law and 12 have as of August 2015. Research around the country shows Assisted Outpatient Treatment works. Research in California shows Laura's Law works. For example, Nevada County implemented Laura's Law and found:

  • Hospitalization was reduced 46%;
  • Incarceration reduced 65%;
  • Homelessness reduced 61%;
  • Emergency Contacts reduced 44%;
  • Saved of $1.81-$2.52 for every dollar spent as result of reducing incarceration, arrest, and hospitalization.

Twelve Counties that implemented Laura's Law:
Nevada, Yolo, Placer, Mendocino, San Francisco, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Kern, Orange, LA, San Diego, El Dorado.

Jump to County by County Info

Guide to Laura's Law
Functional Outline of Lauras' Law
Political Summary (including eligibility numbers)
Join statewide effort to implement Laura's Law (not connected with Mental Illness Policy Org)
Twelve Counties that implemented Laura's Law as of 8/15: Nevada, Yolo, Placer, Mendocino, San Francisco, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Kern, Orange, LA, San Diego, El Dorado. (See county-by-county below)

Laura's Law Fact Sheets

Laura's Law Results in two sample California counties
Studies Show AOT Works throughout country. (PDF)
Laura's Law Criminal Justice Fact Sheet (PDF Version here)
List of known supporters of Laura's Law (PDF version here)
10/7/14: California Assoc of Psychiatric Technicians Endorses Laura's Law
Laura's Law Myths (PDF version here)
Voluntary Services are not a substitute for Laura's Law (PDF)
Consumers who experience AOT (Laura's Law) support it. (PDF)
Join statewide effort to implement Laura's Law (not connected with Mental Illness Policy Org)

Laura's Law Funding Addressed

SB 585 passed. Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) funds may be used to fund Laura's Law.
DMH tells Counties it's OK to use MHSA funds for Laura's Law enrollees
Estimated savings from implementation of Laura's Law: $19 million
Studies Show AOT always saves money (National Savings).
(PDF)
Regulation 3900: Counties cannot postpone implication by claiming more planning and funding is needed thereby discriminating against mentally ill
MHSA Funds Can be Used for Laura's Law: Legal Analysis by Mental Illness Policy Org

MHSA funds can be used to fund Laura's Law: Legal Analysis by Treatment Advocacy Center:
MHSA Funds can be used to fund Laura's Law: Legal Analysis by Mental Illness Policy Org. (California Office)
$7 million in Mental Health Services Act Funds going to prevent implementation of Laura's Law

Laura's Law Source Documents

Mental Health Services Act Home Page Moved Here
Proforma Resolution
for Board of Supervisors to Implement Laura's Law
Text of Laura's Law
Laura's Law Regulations (CA Code of Regs)
Laura's Law Regulations from California DMH Letter 3/20/03
DMH Direction to counties on 3 year plans (including AOT)
DMH detailed discussion of MHSA for LL (6/2005)
Text of MHSA Prop 63 (as ammended 9/2013)
Protection & Advocacy MHSA/Laura' Law Opinion (also see Disability Advocates SacBee op-ed)

Presentations

Ideas to fix Laura's Law's interaction with Mental Health Services Act
Superior Court Judge Tom on Laura's Law
Director of Behavioral Health on Laura's Law
Excellent Video: Stephen Seager, Author, Behind the Gates of Gomorrah, on CSPAN about horrific conditions at NAPA State Hospital
Laura's Law Presentation (Dr. Quanbeck and Dr. Tsai)
Laura's Law works says Judge Anderson
Laura's Law (Gary Tsai, American Journal of Psychiatry Publication)
Disability Advocates California position in opposition to Laura's Law in SacBee (also see legal opinion)
Join statewide effort to implement Laura's Law (not connected with this website)
Laura's Law Legal and Policy Analysis (Psychiatric Services)

Powerpoint: Future of Psychiatric Services in California (
by Dr. E. Fuller Torrey)

LPS Reform

Recommendations to Improve LPS Act (2012 Lanterman Petris Short Task Force Report)
Linnea Lomax and the need to reform LPS Act

Other Issues

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT (MHSA) PAGE MOVED HERE (Documents Problems)
2/15: Mental Health Services Act Fails Seriously Ill
Mental Health Services Act Funds Being Wasted (3 articles)
Severe Psychiatric Hospital Bed Shortage in California (Data)
8/15: Psychiatric beds empty while prisoners wait for care (LA Times)
Untreated persons with mental illness drain California law enforcement resources (Police Survey) (PDF version)
How California can comply with Brown v. Plata by ensuring mentally ill parolees get care
Safety at psychiatric hospitals (2011 Bill)
Science of untreated mental illness and national issues affecting California

Selected Laura's Law opeds and articles by Mental Illness Policy Org

See MHSA Page for our opeds and articles on MHSA failing the seriously ill
2/15: SacBee: Mental Health Services Act: Waste, Fraud, Diversion (oped)
Seal Beach Salon Shooting shows need for Laura's Law
Letter in Orange County Register
Op-ed: San Diego, Sacramento & Washington have same mental illness problem
SF Chronicle op-ed by DJ Jaffe: Support Laura's Law
The failure to implement Laura's Law on the 10 year anniversary of her death

The Death of Mentally Ill Kelly Thomas at the hands of Fullerton, CA police

Explanatory Letter to Editor Ukiah Daily Journal on why Mendocino needs Laura's Law

Selected Other Media

7/15 NBC News on Teresa Pasquini's fight for better care for mentally ill and her son
Ignore mentally ill and court disaster (SF Chronicle)
Laura's Law Lifeline for Mentally Ill (SF Chroncle editorial)
Op-ed, editorial, article SF Chronicle (By Carla Jacobs)
Mental Health Services Act creating a two-tier mental health system (News Review)
Will California Adopt Laura's Law (Time Magazine Oct. 2011)
California Emergency Rooms Very Expensive Way to treat mental illness (LA Times)
Student Video does good job explaining Laura's Law
Video on Nevada County Implementation of Laura's Law

The scientific and policy research on Assisted Outpatient Treatment (Laura's Law), Untreated Mental Illness, and more is at http://mentalillnesspolicy.org

COUNTY BY COUNTY INFORMATION (See NV County)

Alameda County
11/2015: Alameda Adopts Laura's Law Pilot Project
1/15: Supervisor Wilma Chan urges Alameda to adopt Laura's Law
Board of Supervisors Delays Laura's Law
Preventable Mental Illness Tragedies in Alameda
Laura's Law supporter answers critic (Berkeley)
Forced Treatment: Good or Evil (Berkeley Daily Planet)
Laura's Law in a nutshell (Berkeley Planet)
Preventable Mental Illness Tragedies in Alameda
Alameda Mental Health Department Refuses to Implement Laura's Law

Contra Costa County
2/5/15: Contra Costa implements Laura's Law

1/15: Board of Supervisors resolution on Laura's Law
10/7/14 Board of Supervisors Resolution to Adopt Laura's Law
10/7/14 Contra Costa Work Group Report on Lauras Law
10/7/14 Contra Costa Work Group Recommendations on Laura's Law
10/7/14 Contra Costa Mental Health Commission Endorses Laura's Law
Health Committee Recomends Pilot Laura's Law Program
Summary of Families of Mentally Ill Report on Laura's Law in Contra Costa
Excellent Families of Mentally Ill (FULL Report)

Eldorado County
8/15: Board of Supervisors adopted Laura's Law

Kern County
7/15 Kern County adopts Laura's Law

Los Angeles County
7/15/14 Los Angeles Adopts Laura's Law

How to make a Laura's Law referral (Call 213-738-2440 or email AOTLAOE/at/dmh.lacounty.gov
Laura's Law Results in Nevada and Los Angeles Counties (PDF Version)
LA County Board of Supervisors Resolution: Implement Laura's Law statewide (3/13/1)
Letter to Editor, LA Times, Laura's Law reduces incarceration
Laura's Law works says Los Angeles Dept. of Mental Health report
LA County position on renewing Laura's Law (favors)
Supervisor Antonovich says, "Implement Laura's Law"(2011)
Press -Telegram endorses Laura's Law (12/5//11)
Laura's Law Brochure
Failed LA MHSA Stakeholder Process diverted millions from seriously mentally ill

Marin County
9/14 Marin County Mulls Laura's Law
4/15: Marin County police and firefighters favor Laura's Law

Mendocino County
6/15: Mendocino delays implementing Laura's Law
11/14: Mendocino supervisors reconsider Laura's Law
Mental Health Dept convinces Supervisors to not use Laura's Law (7/12)
Ft. Bragg Advocate on Laura's Law
Sign petition in support of Laura's Law in Mendocino
Op-ed by James Bassler on why his mentally ill son killed two and how Laura's Law would have helped(Fort Bragg News)
Explanatory Letter to Editor Ukiah Daily Journal on why Mendocino needs Laura's Law (by DJ Jaffe)
Letter to Editor by James Bassler (father of Aaron) (Ukiah News) on logic of Laura's Law
2011 status of investigation into Laura's Law
Mendocino considering Laura's Law
Laura's Law might save county money, force better services (Ft. Bragg Advocate)
Fort Bragg manhunt raises Mental Health Questions (LA Times)

Nevada County
Nevada County adopst Laura's Law
2014-2015 Laura's Law Results in Nevada County
Laura's Law Results in Nevada and Los Angeles Counties (PDF Version)
Nevada County Superior Court Judge Tom Anderson on Laura's Law
Nevada County Director of Behavioral Health, Michael Heggarty on Laura's Law
Q&A on How Laura's Law works in Nevada County by Nevada County officials
Video on Nevada County Implementation of Laura's Law
Nevada County wins award
for implementing Laura's Law
DMH tell NV County OK to use MHSA for Laura's Law enrollees
Grand Jury Report on Laura's Law in Nevada County

Orange County

OC Register, LA Times, NBC LA Affiliate, Public Radio, Voice of OC: OC Supervisors Implement Lauras Law (5/13/14)
Orange County Register says OC stashing MHSA funds instead of using them for seriously mentally ill (9/15)

Orange County only using Laura's Law for voluntary patients.
Preventable Tragedies in Orange County (PDF Version)
Great article by Tracy Woods on Laura's Law (Voice of OC)
LAURAS LAW ORANGE COUNTY HOME PAGE
Analysis of Report by Orange County Health Care Agency to Supervisors (Important)
Response to OC Health Care Agency Report to Supervisors (by NAMI Orange County & California Treatment Advocacy Coalition)
Ending Homelessness 2020 Testimony on Laura's Law by Carla Jacobs
E-mail Orange County Laura's Law Organizing Committee
Health Care Agency misleads County Supervisors on Laura's Law
(OC Register)
October 2011 Report by Health Care Agency to Orange County Supervisors on Implementing Laura's Law
Orange County Alliance on Mental Illness supports Laura's Law
Seal Beach Salon Shooting shows need for Laura's Law
Would Laura's Law have prevented Seal Beach Salon Shooting
Mentally Ill Kelly Thomas was 'gravely disabled" and shot by police

Placer
9/29/14 Placer County Adopts Laura's Law
Could Laura's Law come to Placer County
Dr. Frank Lozano's Blogs on Mental Illness Treatment in Placer County

Sacramento
7/15 Sacramento Grand Jury Report says Sacramento "abdicated the provision of crisis services for the mentally ill"
7/15: Sacramento Bee editorial on Sacramento Grand Jury Report
Tragedies in Sacramento, Laura's Law might have prevented
Laura's Law Languishes (Sacramento News and Review)

San Diego County
4/15 San Diego Supervisors Voted to adopt Laura's Law
Op-ed: San Diego, Sacramento & Washington have same mental illness problem
8/15: San Diego Union Trib: County amasses mental health funds rather than spend them on mentally ill
4/15 San Diego Supervisors Voted to adopt Laura's Law
1/15: San Diego moves closer to adopting Laura's Law (Media report)
1/15:
San Diego Resolution authorizes planning for Laura's Law
1/15 Theresa Bish: San Diego needs Laura's Law (Excellent)
12.19.13 San Diego Union Trib: failure to help mentally ill (PDF here)
San Diego July 2013 Report says Implement Laura's Law
San Diego BOS Resolution 3/19/13
Tragedies in San Diego Laura's Law Might Have Prevented
Laura's Law: Pro and Con (San Diego City Beat)

San Francisco County
7/9/14 San Francisco Adopts Laura's Law
7/15 NBC News on Teresa Pasquini's fight for better care for mentally ill and her son
12/20/13 San Francisco Examiner says implement Laura's Law (PDF Version)
Preventable Mental Illness Tragedies in San Francisco (PDF Version)
New: Op-ed, editorial, article SF Chronicle
San Francisco Mayoral Candidates misunderstand Laura's Law
San Francisco Ignores Mentally ill
SF Chronicle op-ed: Support Laura's Law (DJ Jaffe)
Why Laura's Law has such limited impact (SF Chronicle)
Ignore mentally ill and court disaster (SF Chronicle)
Where the Mayoral Candidates stand on Laura's Law
San Francisco Mental Health Services Act Abuse

San Luis Obispo
11/2015 Board of Sups tells MH Dept. to draw up plans to implement Laura's Law
Untreated Mentally Ill woman kills mom due to lack of Laura's Law
San Luis Obispo Tribune Special Report on Mental Illness

San Mateo County
6/24 San Mateo approves Laura's Law
2015 San Mateo Mental Health Dept. reccomends Laura's Law
2013 San Mateo Health System Chief Jean S. Fraser, misleads Boards of Supervisors on Laura's Law
2011 Analysis of San Mateo Officials Claims About Laura's Law(Important)
San Mateo Health Dept and NAMI Presentations to Board of Supervisors Committee (Laura's Law )
Presentation on Laura's Law by local mental health officials
Preventable Tragedies in San Mateo (PDF Version here)

Santa Barbara County
4/22: New SB mental health commissioner stops Supervisors from implementing Laura's Law.
Santa Barbara MH Dept presentation to MH Commission (PDF) (3/20/15)
Status of Laura's Law in Santa Barbara (3/20/15)
Santa Maria Sun endorses Laura's Law
Santa Barbara prison mental health services questioned

Sonoma County
Sonoma Behavioral Health Care Director defends status quo (and read our response)

Yolo County
5/6/15: Yolo county gets good results from Laura's Law
6/14/14 Yolo County Fully Implements Laura's Law
Yolo County Exercise Leadership and start Laura's Law Pilot Program(6/25/13 Board Meeting)
Positive feedback on Laura's Law from Consumers, public defenders, guardians, police chiefs, & Helen Thomas
Yolo ADMH Staff Report in Support of Laura's Law


The information on Mental Illness Policy Org. is not legal advice or medical advice. Do not rely on it. Discuss with your lawyer or medical doctor. Mental Illness Policy Org was founded in February 2011 and recently received 501(c)(3) status. In order to maintain independence MIPO does not accept any donations from companies in the health care industry or government. That makes us dependent on the generosity of people who care about these issues. If you can support our work, please send a donation to Mental Illness Policy Org., 50 East 129 St., Suite PH7, New York, NY 10035. Thank you. For more information, http://mentalillnesspolicy.org.