Calif. Bill Aims To Divert Inmates With Mental Health Issues From Jails
On Thursday, state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) urged support for a bill (SB 621) that aims to bolster California programs that divert inmates with mental health issues from county jails, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
Details of Bill
Specifically, SB 621 would increase funding for programs to divert inmates with mental health issues by $13 million.
Hertzberg said that the extra funding would help cover programs that already have applied for state grants. He noted that $50 million in funding that was announced last year for such programs was almost immediately depleted (Palta, "KPCC News," KPCC, 5/7).
Officials Announce Mental Health Initiative
Hertzberg discussed his bill at an event Thursday, during which state officials also announced their intent to join a national initiative to reduce the number of individuals with mental health issues in local jails.
Counties will have access to technical assistance through the initiative, funded partly by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance. The initiative was created by the:
- American Psychiatric Foundation;
- Council of State Governments Justice Center; and
- National Association of Counties (Sewell, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 5/7).
Meanwhile, Hertzberg, other lawmakers and Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said they are planning to convene a summit next year to address similar issues ("KPCC News," KPCC, 5/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.