Inside LADA

March 5, 2018: LADA Mental Health Liaison Joins State Council

LADA Mental Health Liaison Joins State Council

LADA Mental Health Liaison Tracey Whitney has been appointed to the state Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health.

The council, which was formerly the Council on Mentally Ill Offenders (COMIO), addresses issues surrounding the significant number of incarcerated individuals living with mental illness and substance use disorders.

The council includes representatives from criminal justice and behavioral health backgrounds. The council explores and works to promote early intervention, access to effective treatments and planned re-entry for inmates while working to preserve public safety.

Whitney is the only prosecutor on the 12-person council.

“This is an important issue to the office and to prosecutors throughout the state,” Whitney said. “Having a prosecutor on the panel helps give the council feedback from our office’s perspective and keeps the office at the forefront of mental health diversion issues on a statewide level.”

Whitney was nominated for the council by Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

She joined LADA in 1999. District Attorney Jackie Lacey selected her to serve as the mental health liaison in 2016. Whitney is a founding member of the Los Angeles County Mental Health Advisory Board and the county’s Permanent Steering Committee.

She was instrumental in preparing “Blueprint for Change,” the advisory board’s 2015 plan for a comprehensive system of diversion from incarceration for individuals living with mental illness.