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El Dorado County is ahead of the curve with the Behavioral Health Court. The court has proven successful in helping people with mental illness to stabilize, find the right medication and work with a doctor and therapist to improve their living situation.
We have a new sheriff who is energetic and the deputies who have had crises intervention training; we need to take the next step and implement assisted outpatient treatment (Laura’s Law). This law will mandate a person to take medication and be under supervision in the community.
Our largest mental health facility is incarceration; many of these adults live in society and function well with medication. The cost savings is tremendous; you can house five consumers and one staff for the cost of one inmate. With the prison sending more people back to county jails, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors needs to consider Laura’s Law.
Not only is it a cost savings but a savings to the community. The incident in Tucson did not just change the life of the shooter, but of the nation. There were signs early on; court mandated treatment would have made a difference. El Dorado County, now is the time to move forward with Laura’s Law.