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Laura's Law Home Page

(Mental Health Services Act Problems Home Page Moved Here)


SB 585. Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) funds may be used to fund Laura's Law
Estimated savings from statewide implementation of Laura's Law: $19 million


Jump to County by County Info
Laura's Law 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 most have not. By failing to use Laura's Law, county mental health directors transfer the seriously ill to jails, prisons, shelters and morgues. 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.

Studies Show Laura's Law Works. (PDF)
Studies Show AOT always saves money. (PDF)
Voluntary Services are not a substitute for Laura's Law (PDF)
Consumers who experience AOT (Laura's Law) support it. (PDF)
Regulation 3900: Counties cannot postpone impllication by claiming more planning and funding is needed thereby discriminating against mentally ill

Why should we have Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) laws?

For those who suffer from an untreated severe mental illness like schizophrenia, time is brain. With each psychotic episode they lose the brain cells they will need to recover with. A malfunction in the frontal lobe (anosognosia) prevents some from recognizing they are ill and that causes them to refuse treatment that can restore them to sanity. Hallucinations and delusions take over, too frequently causing deterioration to the point of violence. Treatment can prevent the deterioration.

$10 million in Mental Health Services Act Funds going to prevent implementation of Laura's Law
Laura's Law Fact Sheet (PDF Version here)

Laura's Law Presentation (Dr. Quanbeck and Dr. Tsai)
Laura's Law works says Judge Anderson
List of known supporters of Laura's Law (PDF version here)
Laura's Law Myths (PDF version here)
Laura's Law (Gary Tsai, American Journal of Psychiatry Publication)

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)
Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 585 which means Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63) funds may be used to fund Laura's Law. Counties now have no excuse not to implement Laura's Law.

Recent Developments in mental illness policy in California (11/11/12)
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)

Comprehensive Guide to Laura's Law
Laura's Law Legal and Policy Analysis (Psychiatric Services)
Laura's Law Nuts and Bolts

Outline of Lauras' Law

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

Exposes of Mental Health Services Act Funds Being Wasted (3 articles)
Severe Psychiatric Hospital Bed Shortage in California (Data)
Failure to use Laura's Law shifts burden of mentally ill to police (Op-ed. Excellent)
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 (Bill)
Future of Psychiatric Services in California (Powerpoint presentation by Dr. E. Fuller Torrey)

Source Documents
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
Mental Health Services Act/Prop 63 Gov Home Page(CA Dept. of Mental Health)
Original Text of Mental Health Services Act/Prop 63
Text of Mental Health Services Act Prop 63 (as amended July 2012)
Text of MHSA Prop 63 (as ammended 9/2013)
Protection & Advocacy MHSA/Laura' Law Opinion (also see Disability Advocates SacBee op-ed)
DMH Direction to counties on 3 year plans (including AOT)
DMH detailed discussion of MHSA for LL (6/2005)

Selected Articles by Mental Illness Policy Org.
Seal Beach Salon Shooting shows need for Laura's Law

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 Media Articles on Statewide Implementation
Laura's Law Lifeline for Mentally Ill (SF Chroncle op-ed)
San Francisco Bay Guardian
SF Chronicle
Op-ed, editorial, article SF Chronicle
Mental Health Services Act creating a two-tier mental health system (News Review)
Will California Adopt Laura's Law (Time Magazine Oct. 2011)

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


Alameda County
1/15: Supervisor Wilma Chan urges Alameda to adopt Laura's Law
Board of Supervisors Delays Laura's Law
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
Contra Costa implements Laura's Law
1/15: Board of Supervisors resolution on Laura's Law
Op-ed urges Contra Costa to enact 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
10/7/14: California Assoc of Psychiatric Technicians 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)
Laura's Law Necessary

Kern County
We need courage to treat mental illness when it gets dangerous

Los Angeles County
7/15/14 Los Angeles Adopts Laura's Law
LA County Board of Supervisors Resolution: Implement Laura's Law statewide (3/13/13)
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"
Press -Telegram endorses Laura's Law (12/5//11)
Laura's Law Brochure
Failed LA MHSA Stakeholder Process diverted millions from seriously mentally ill

Mendocino County
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
Current 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 Killings might have been averted with Laura's Law
Implement Laura's Law (Press Democrat)
Fort Bragg manhunt raises Mental Health Questions (LA Times)

Nevada County
2014-2015 Lauraa'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
Nevada County Resolution to adopt Lares 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
Orange County only using Laura's Law for voluntary patients.
Orange County Supervisors Implement Lauras Law (5/13/14) Read in OC Register, LA Times, NBC LA Affiliate, Public Radio, Voice of OC
Great article by Tracy Woods on Laura's Law (Voice of OC)
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
Sign Online Petition to Support Laura's Law
Preventable Tragedies in Orange County (PDF Version)
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

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

Tragedies in Sacramento, Laura's Law might have prevented
Sacramento Mental Health Services Act Abuse
Sacramento Bee: Reform MHSA to Help Laura's Law (op-ed)
Laura's Law Languishes (Sacramento News and Review)
MHSA Funds misspent (Capital Weekly)

San Diego County
4/15 San Diego Supervisors Voted to adopt Laura's Law
1/15: San Diego moves closer to adopting Laura's Law (Media report)
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 Union Trib
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
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
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
San Mateo Health System Chief Jean S. Fraser, misleads Boards of Supervisors on Laura's Law
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
Santa Barbara MH Dept presentation to MH Commission (PDF) (3/20/15)
Status of Laura's Law in Santa Barbara (3/20/15)
Join Facebook Group to implement Laura's Law
Santa Maria Sun endorses Laura's Law
Santa Barbara prison mental health services questioned

Sonoma County
Press-Democrat Editorial Endorses Laura's Law
It's Time Sonoma Implement Laura's Law
Sonoma Behavioral Health Care Director defends status quo (and read our response)

Stanislaus County
County wastes MHSA money and fails to use Laura's Law

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)
Presentation to Yolo Board of Supervisors on Laura's Law
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

Other Media

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 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. Contact office@mentalillnesspolicy.org Contact DJ Jaffe, founder http://mentalillnesspolicy.org.