Sen. Leland Yee has announced legistlation to help counties implement Laura's Law, a program that allows enforcement of Assisted Outpatient Treatment orders for some potentially dangerous mentally ill patients.
Yee released a statement Thursday, on the 12-year anniversary of a mass shooting in Nevada County that left three people dead, including Laura Wilcox.
Specifically, Yee plans to remove unnecessary and cumbersome barriers to implementation of Laura’s Law, such as allowing counties to use existing mental health funds to implement the program as well as removing the requirement of a vote of the local county board of supervisors, according to his office.
“While we should not draw direct correlations between mental illness and all acts of violence, both mental health treatment and reasonable gun control should be part of a comprehensive response to protect children and families,” Yee said. “It is imperative that we find ways to implement Laura’s Law throughout California.”
Laura's Law allows counties to assure that court-ordered help reaches people who are not complying with voluntary treatment programs, have a history of hospitalization, arrest or violent behavior and are potentially dangerous to themselves or others.
Many counties have failed to implement Laura's Law despite the fact that the policy has proven to result in less hospitalization, less homelessness, fewer arrests, less incarceration, increased collaboration between the mental health and justice systems, as well as a more efficient and effective cross-agency delivery system, according to Yee's office.