SF Supes to Vote on Laura's Law

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)_ A law that would force mentally-ill people with violent backgrounds into treatment is up for a vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

Laura’s Law was enacted on the statewide level eight years ago, but requires each county’s approval. The law is named after a 19-year-old woman who was shot and killed by a mentally-ill man who was not taking medication.

The law allows courts to force people with violent tendencies accompanied by mental illness to assisted outpatient treatment.

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UCSF psychiatrist Dr. John Rouse says it’s the most compassionate and cost-effective way to help the most severely ill.

“We’ve heard reports from New York where a very similar law called Kendra’s Law has been effect for several years and they report something like 80 percent decreases in incarceration and 80 percent decreases in hospitalization,” said Rouse.

The director of San Francisco’s Public Health Department, Dr. Mitch Katz, will testify before San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors against Laura’s Law. He says it falls short for not letting the courts mandate medication in the treatment.

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