LOS ANGELES, Calif. — In an effort to expand proven solutions in breaking the cycle between incarceration and homelessness – that acutely impacts people with severe mental illness in the Los Angeles County jail system, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion presented by Supervisors Holly J. Mitchell and Lindsey P. Horvath that calls for sustainably increasing the number of beds within the Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) Housing. The motion directs the Chief Executive Office in collaboration with ODR to create a timeline and list of potential funding resources available in Fiscal Year of 2024-25 to get to a minimum of 1,000 slots for appropriate care and permanent housing that will be provided by ODR.
“The crisis in our jail system requires sustainable investments in the strategies we know are working. Developing a funding roadmap is crucial in ensuring County-led solutions like the Office of Diversion and Reentry Housing have the ability to add housing and support services to accommodate new clients who are best served in the community and not in our jails” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Second District.
“Our Board’s commitment to a Care First, Jails Last vision for Los Angeles County means we must quickly expand community-based treatment, services, and housing to safely divert individuals who are ready at every possible juncture from the criminal justice system,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath, Third District. “I am proud to join Supervisor Mitchell on this action to responsibly and expeditiously expand the Office of Diversion and Re-entry, which is an essential component of the system of care the County needs to serve our most vulnerable residents. Both ODR’s community-based competency restoration work, as well as its clinical diversion program, continue to receive well-deserved praise from the Courts, community stakeholders, and justice reform advocates.”
LA County has the largest jail population in the world with close to 14,000 people incarcerated. Last year, it was reported that nearly 39 percent of the people in County jails were suffering from severe mental health needs. In 2015, the Board of Supervisors created ODR to reduce the number of people incarcerated in County jails with mental health and/or substance abuse use disorders who are at risk of homelessness. Several studies have shown that ODR’s programming has the ability to successfully stabilize individuals and equip them with the tools necessary to rejoin their communities.
To read the full motion, click here.