LOS ANGELES — Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to halt development of a massive "mental health jail" that would have cost billions of dollars and been doomed to failure. The ACLU of Southern California has opposed the project since it was first proposed nearly a decade ago, and has stood with other advocacy and community groups such as Justice LA in calling for its cancelation.
Please attribute the following statement to Peter J. Eliasberg, chief counsel of the ACLU SoCal:
"Jails — even new ones with supposed state-of-the-art treatment spaces — make people with mental illness sicker. Incarceration hurts them and their families, and does nothing to protect public safety because the rate of recidivism for people with mental illness coming out of jails is horrific. It is an enormous victory that the Board of Supervisors has, after years of senseless development, halted the plan, especially at a time when studies are ongoing that could point to a way to treat people who are mentally ill in a humane, effective, and secure way that would be a benefit to not only them but also the entire community."