Laura’s Law results in Nevada County and Los Angeles county.

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Reduction in harmful events when Laura’s Law implemented in Nevada County

Key Indicator
1404 days
748 days
1824 days
637 days
4224 days
1898 days
Emergency Contacts
220 contacts
123 contacts

Reduction in costs when Laura’s Law implemented in Nevada County

Key Indicator

Nevada County gave individuals under court order access to services and found number of Psychiatric Hospital Days decreased 46.7 percent; number of Incarceration Days decreased 65.1 percent, number of Homeless Days decreased 61.9 percent; number of Emergency Interventions decreased 44.1 percent. Laura’s Law implementation saved $1.81-$.2.52 for ever dollar spent and “receiving services under Laura’s Law caused a reduction in actual hospital costs of $213,300 and a reduction in actual incarceration costs of $75,600 (Michael Heggarty, Behavioral Health Director, Nevada County. “The Nevada County Experience,” Nov. 15, 2011).

“Nevada County began utilizing Laura’s Law in 2008. Laura’s Law has provided life-saving services to individuals suffering from mental illness and kept many from the trauma and brain damage associated with involuntary commitments to mental health facilities under W & I Code, Section 5150, and the jail commits and tragedies associated with untreated mental health crisis.” (Thomas M. Anderson, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court California, County of Nevada, Letter to Bill Campbell, Chair of Orange County Board of Supervisors, September 28, 1911

Los Angeles provided services to people under court orders and found it reduced incarceration 78 percent; reduced hospitalization 86 percent; and reduced hospitalization 77 percent even after discharge from Laura’s Law. It also increased “milestone” of recovery scores.  Laura’s Law cut taxpayer costs 40 percent in Los Angeles (County of Los Angeles. “Outpatient Treatment Program Outcomes Report” April 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010. And Michael D. Antonovich, Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor, Los Angeles Daily News, December 12, 2011).

The successful results in both Nevada and Los Angeles counties mirror those of NY’s Kendra’s Law, the model for Laura’s Law.The NY Kendra’s Law results are here.

DJ Jaffe is Executive Director of the non-partisan Mental Illness Policy Org., and author of Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill. He is a critic of the mental health industry for ignoring the seriously ill, and has been advocating for better treatment for individuals with serious mental illness for over 30 years. He has written op-eds on the intersection of mental health and criminal justice policy for the New York Times, Wall St. Journal and the Washington Post. New York Magazine has credited him with being the driving force behind the passage of New York’s Kendra’s Law and Congress incorporated ideas proposed by DJ in the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.