About Laura's Law


                                       TEN YEARS AFTER MURDERS:
                                                                                            
                                       Law Meant to Prevent Tragedies Remains Overlooked and Unused
 
 "On January 10, 2001, our daughter, Laura, was at work at California's Nevada County Behavioral Health clinic. A client appeared for a scheduled appointment. Without warning or provocation, he drew a handgun and shot Laura four times. When the rampage at the clinic and at a nearby restaurant ended, Laura and two others lay dead, and two were injured.

"California passed Laura’s Law to help make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to another family. 
 
Laura was at the clinic that day to help. 
 
"We’re asking for you help to bring Laura’s Law to your county and help save lives."  

--Amanda and Nick Wilcox


 
Break the Stalemate
 
It is now time to implement Laura’s Law in every California county. The time for delay is over.
 
Laura's Law was passed in 2002. The state left it up to each county to implement the law to prevent tragedies like the death of Laura Wilcox. Laura's Law authorizes the use of court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment, a proven tool that allows for the sickest patients to get help before its too late.
 
Nevada County, California, where Laura Wilcox lived and died, implemented Laura’s Law. Its immediate success in "convincing some individuals with untreated mental illnesses that they were in need of treatment" and saving taxpayer dollars in the process led the California Association of Counties to give Nevada County one of its 2010 Challenge Awards for innovation and creativity in government.  
 
By providing assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) to those too sick to seek treatment, Laura’s Law creates an effective tool for people with severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia to get help before they become a danger to themselves or others. Multiple independent studies document that laws like California's stop the revolving door that spins people in and out of hospital emergency rooms and jails, reduces the public cost involved in high-cost intervention, and addresses numerous other consequences of non-treatment.

“In this era of limited resources and continuing senseless tragedies, it is inexcusable that all but two California counties have failed to opt into this compassionate, common-sense approach,” says James Pavle, executive director of Treatment and Advocacy Center.

Content of this page - courtesy of the Treatment and Advocacy Center

A Functional Outlineof Laura's Law - AB 1421

Laura's Law, signed into CA law in 2002, allows court-ordered, intensive outpatient treatment for people with severe mental illnesses who refuse medication because the illness impairs their ability to make rational decisions.

In those counties that adopt it, the AB 1421 program would permit people who are severely disabled by mental illness--and currently caught in a revolving door of homelessness, incarceration, and hospitalization--to receive timely, continuous, and supervised treatment in the community.
 
To View the Outline
Click Here

Myth vs. Facts

There are some profound misconceptions
about Laura's Law
Learn the FACTS
Click Here

OC Register - Dec. 11


"Mental Illness:
It's a family affair"

NAMI-OC President
shares his family story
Read the article

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