Two years ago, the Board of Supervisors adopted a Care First approach which aims to reduce the County’s reliance on incarceration, and expand services and housing for people (including those with mental illness and untreated substance use disorder) whose needs would be better met through community-based services.
The motion approved last week will aggregate LA County programs currently operated by multiple offices and departments under one roof in order to more quickly establish coordinated services, and to identify and optimize available funding sources. The Justice, Care, and Opportunities department is expected to house the County’s Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative, the Jail Closure Implementation Team, pretrial services, as well as reentry programs for youth and adults. Current clinical services will remain within the County’s three health departments.
“It’s clear that the County needs a unifying organizational structure that will facilitate standing up, coordinating, managing, and assessing needed services and funding streams so we can deliver the outcomes-driven and cost-effective services needed to achieve our Care First vision,” said LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, the motion’s author. “Today’s motion creates that structure.”