“Care First, Jails, Last”: Implementing Groundbreaking Alternatives to Incarceration

On any given night, more than 17,000 people are confined in the Los Angeles County jail system, more than 5,000 of whom have serious mental health needs. Black residents account for less than 10 percent of the county’s population, yet 29 percent of those imprisoned are Black. During recent years, the county has taken steps to reduce its reliance on incarceration, including the creation of an Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative (ATI), which outlines 26 recommendations to scale alternatives to incarceration and diversion, ensuring care and services are provided first and incarceration is used as a last resort. For the county to ensure deep racial inequities do not continue and this vision of community safety becomes reality, the ATI recommendations must be implemented swiftly and effectively.

To support this work, the L.A. County Chief Executive Office is partnering with FUSE Executive Fellow Jean Ho to develop a strategic plan to implement the 26 foundational recommendations in the ATI. Jean will be essential to helping the county emerge as a leader in the national justice reform landscape, fighting to divest from the harm of the carceral state and become a system of care and health.

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