Placer County supervisors this week voted to implement Laura’s Law, a state statute that allows for court-ordered treatment for those with severe mental illness.
County health officials said they plan to treat up to 20 patients annually when the program takes effect in January, according to a county news release. Laura’s Law was named in memory of Laura Wilcox, 19, a Nevada County healthcare volunteer who was shot dead in 2001 by a mental health patient who had a history of evading treatment.
Under Laura’s Law, courts may authorize outpatient treatment of adults with severe mental illness under certain conditions, including when a patient is hospitalized or jailed. Family members and probation officers can also request treatment.
The county expects to spend $400,000 annually on implementing the program, which will be covered in full by the state and federal funds.