Laura's Law -- Might have saved Kelly Thomas.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    California has a law on the books that gives families a lot more leverage to enforce treatment for their severely mentally ill loved-ones. Unfortunately, the implementation of Laura's Law is left up to the discretion of each county. If Kelly Thomas' family had the ability to force him into a monitored treatment program, he might still be here today. Instead, he would be committed long enough to be stabilized on medications and then essentially turned loose in the community where he invariably went off his medications and back into his disabling world of schizophrenia. Unless a person is violent or a clear danger to themselves or others, the police will do nothing. And essentially, if you are violent or a danger to yourself or others, that means you are more often than not diverted into the criminal justice system -- NOT the best place for someone with mental illness who needs treatment instead of incarceration.

    Tomorrow is my county's Board of Supervisors meeting, and my local NAMI chapter plans to be there in full force, and I'm sure supporters of the Thomas family will be there too. During the comment section of the meeting they intend to demand that the board approve implementation of Laura's Law in our county. I plan to go to lend my physical presence as a supporter for this cause. Please rattle some beads, say a prayer or two, and keep some positive thoughts that the community's concerns are heard and this group of representatives does the right thing.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'll rattle some beads that the idea and implementation takes hold and spreads.
  3. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I will for sure rattle beads for this cause. I understand that laws are made to protect mentally ill persons from abusive treatment and unfounded forced hospitalization. At the same time, I know first hand how ONLY persistence on my part got the doctor for my mother to continue to apply to the court for continued treatment after I had her hospitalized against her will as a danger to herself/others. She was to be released after 72 hours. I had it out pretty harshly with the doctor at the time about her pending release and I believe some comments of mine shamed him into utilizing the existing laws her to hold her, requiring him to apply for court orders to keep her until properly stable and a willing participant in her treatment plan for release. Our laws here are tricky and normally after that 72 hours our loved ones are turfed out unless they willingly remain inpatient. I wish more places would follow the lead of the law you wrote about and that communities would stand united to agree to utilize these types of laws to better treat those so ill they are unable to make good decisions about their treatment.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Beads getting rattled. Hope the recent events give the push necessary to get the right laws on the books.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Good luck. This needs to be everywhere.
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Woot! The supervisors unanimously voted to move forward on implementing Laura's Law in our county!!! You could see the NAMI folks breathe a collective sigh of relief and there were a lot of smiles in that room! :bigsmile: I plan on writing a thankyou letter to each of the board members and mailing it to their offices.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Rock on!
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    COngratulations for your hard work!
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I wanted to know more about this before I commented more about this... I think this is a wonderful law. We have a terrible problem with death by cop when a person is mentally ill. I could probably count off 5 right off the top of my head in the past 5 years. It's just awful. There is never scrutiny or punishment here. Sometimes the city gives the family money, but the next month they're right back at it. It's horrifying as a parent of an adult difficult child to see this go on.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!