April 14, 2022
Senator Rosilicia Ochoa Bogh
1021 O Street, Ste. 7220
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Senator Ochoa Bogh,
RE: Support for SB 1427: County Grant Programs for Collaborative Courts and Re-Entry
Dear Senator Ochoa Bogh:
I write on behalf of Inland Action in support of Senate Bill 1427, which would create two grant programs: (1) a grant program to help counties to establish or expand collaborative mental health and homeless courts and (2) a grant program for counties to institute re-entry services for jail inmates at risk of becoming homeless upon release.
In addition, growing numbers of inmates are waiting for state hospital beds, sometimes for months at a time. In the past five years, the number of California inmates deemed incompetent to stand trial and ordered sent to state hospitals increased 60 percent. A few decades ago, fewer than half of state hospital patients came from the criminal justice system. Today, more than 90 percent do. When people in psychiatric crisis land in emergency rooms and jails, it’s frequently because they can’t get treatment in the community—even when they ask for it.
Many California counties have begun turning to mental health and homeless courts as a means of addressing the root cause of these issues; this includes 44 counties with mental health courts for adult offenders and 13 counties with homeless courts. These programs allow for the individuals with mental illness and homeless individuals to get the resources that they need in order to turn their lives around. These courts also work to ease prison and jail crowding by getting people into treatment instead of custody, thus reducing the chances of recidivism due to untreated mental illness. However, these courts are often underfunded and have insufficient programming options for participating defendants. SB 1427 will ensure that counties have the resources to expand or establish these life-changing courts and programs.
Inland Action is happy to support SB 1427.
Carole Beswick, CEO