September 28, 2015
Former Los Angeles County jail inmates want to change an earlier settlement to improve the treatment of released inmates with serious mental illnesses. The settlement requires the county to create a “discharge plan” when released, including prescriptions for medication and a list of places to find community mental health treatment providers.
The inmates say that many people with personality disorder, developmental disability, dementia, or substance abuse are excluded from the settlement and a written list of referrals is not effective.
Mark Rosenbaum with Public Counsel called the county’s referral lists a “meaningless gesture” and “like handing out lists written in hieroglyphics” for people who are mentally “incapable of deciphering such a list or navigating what must be done to receive services or medications.”
Rosenbaum said jail staff should verify that programs on the list are taking on new clients. “To the extent that these services don’t exist … common sense and the law tell us that these services need to be provided,” he said.
Organizations mentioned/involved: Public Counsel