In the 1960's, California's mental hospitals were shut down to protect the rights of people hospitalized against their will, turning LA's county jail into America's largest mental institution, home to thousands of mentally ill homeless people. Now, a bill moving through the California Legislature would require treatment for those so ill they don't realize they need medication. "Laura's Law" honors the memory of an adolescent who was shot by a mental patient who was not complying with treatment. We learn about the law's impact and implications from the director of a local mental health center, a legal advocate for the mentally ill, and an attorney commissioned by the state Senate to study the issue.
- Reporter's Notebook: Charities Launch Campaign to Get Californians to Donate More - Though they knew few people directly affected by September 11, Californians poured money into New York charities. Now, California charities are hurting. Helen Morran-Wolf, executive director of the Foothill Family Center talks about the juggling act caused by increased demands and decreased funding, and about "California Cares," the celebrity campaign to make up the difference.
The Essentials of Californian Mental Health Law
Laura's Law (AB 1421)
The Rand Corporation
UCLA School of Medicine
Foothill Family Service