Laura's Law: Freedom for the Mentally Ill

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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.
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The Essentials of Californian Mental Health Law

Laura's Law (AB 1421)

The Rand Corporation

UCLA School of Medicine

California Endowment

Foothill Family Service



Warren Olney


Frances Anderton