Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey has announced plans to divert lower-level offenders with mental health issues out of jails and into treatment, based on a report developed by Policy Research Associates, Inc. (PRA).
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office contracted with Policy Research Associates (PRA) in the summer of 2014 to develop behavioral health and criminal justice system maps outlining the connections between behavioral health and criminal justice programs and identifying resources, priorities, and gaps in the Los Angeles County criminal justice system. PRA held a mental health summit in May, followed by a Sequential Intercept Mapping and strategic planning workshop to gauge the strengths, gaps, and opportunities for Los Angeles’ criminal justice system.
PRA developed recommendations for Los Angeles County to promote change within the criminal justice system. Among the recommendations were the following:
- Integrate peer programs and peer support into planning and service delivery
- Expand screening for Veterans across Intercepts and allow early diversion and misdemeanor alternatives for Veterans
- Consider broad approaches to improving accessible housing for justice-involved individuals
- Expand diversion opportunities at arraignment and improve screening for diversion at later stages of the criminal justice continuum
- Expand post-arraignment diversion opportunities for defendants charged not only with misdemeanors but also felonies
Read the full Sequential Intercept Mapping Report – LA County.
Learn more about the Sequential Intercept Mapping workshop.
- LA Times: Police need more training to deal with mentally ill, L.A. County told
- Southern California Public Radio (KPCC): Lacey wants to change the way police, prosecutors deal with mentally ill in Los Angeles
- Southern California Public Radio (KPCC): District Attorney: LA will still need new jail, even with reduction of mentally ill