Inside LADA

October 24, 2019: New Laws Advance Criminal Justice System

A new law, sponsored by the District Attorney’s Office, will make it easier for people under criminal justice supervision to receive mental health treatment.

Senate Bill 389 allows people who are subject to probation, parole, pre- and post-sentencing diversion and other forms of supervision to receive community-based treatment funded by the Mental Health Services Act, which was approved by California voters in 2004.

“This legislation advances the development of a fair and equitable justice system,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “Members of our community whose mental illness has led them to the wrong side of the law will now have access to the treatment they need. This will help us break the cycle of incarceration and allow these individuals to become productive members of society.”

Sen. Robert Hertzberg authored the bill, which was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Aug. 30.

Another bill, sponsored by the office, would establish procedures for requesting and granting continuances in civil trial proceedings to determine whether sexually violent predators should be released from state custody after serving their criminal sentence.

The law, authored by Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes, is intended to facilitate a speedy trial and avoid the forced release of a predator because of court delays.

The District Attorney’s Office takes a proactive role in improving the criminal justice system, each year sponsoring, supporting and opposing legislation.