Grand jury: Laura's Law saves money, lives, should be implemented in other California counties

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Mae Ryan/KPCC

The legislation allows California counties to provide court-ordered outpatient treatment for a subset of mentally ill people.

A grand jury in Nevada County says that California counties can save money and lives by fully applying Laura’s Law. The legislation allows California counties to provide court-ordered outpatient treatment for a subset of mentally ill people who’ve landed in jail or hospitals because of their condition.

It applies only to those most likely to become dangerous to themselves or others because they’re so ill they don’t recognize that they need treatment.

So far, rural Nevada County in gold rush country is the only one in California to fully adopt the decade-old law.

The report by the Nevada County grand jury commends the county for adopting the law, saying that it has saved Nevada County more than $500,000 by helping to prevent emergency hospitalizations and jail time.

Los Angeles County is testing Laura’s Law with pilot programs, and Orange County is considering whether to adopt it.

Laura's Law Implementation in Nevada County

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