San Jose City Council Considers Whether to Endorse Laura’s Law

With thousands of homeless people on the streets, San Jose City Council members Johnny Khamis and Raul Peralez are urging local leaders to implement Laura’s Law. Enacted by the state in 2002, the law gives counties the ability to mandate treatment for the severely mentally ill—many of whom are unhoused.

To date, 20 California counties have adopted the law, including San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties. At its Dec. 17 meeting, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will consider joining that list, and Khamis and Peralez want to make sure that they have the San Jose’s support in advance.

“Laura’s Law and expanding the framework for conservatorship will open up more opportunities for helping the most vulnerable who struggle with mental illness and alcohol/drug addictions,” the pair of council members wrote in a shared memo. “While we know this solution will help a smaller number of individuals who are homeless, it will help to make our community safer for our residents and for the police officers working in our neighborhoods.”

On Tuesday afternoon this week, the council will discuss whether it should author a letter to county supervisors offering up its endorsement.

Khamis and Peralez argue that it will not only help the county’s mentally ill and drug-addicted population, but will also make things safer for police. Under Laura’s Law, people can only be placed in outpatient treatment if they meet a list of “exhaustive conditions,” such as being hospitalized or jailed twice within the last 36 months.

“When police officers find themselves using deadly force to stop a dangerous individual with severe mental illness, it is not acceptable to write it off as a situation that could not be avoided,” Khamis and Peralez wrote in their proposal. “When these events occur, stories abound from families struggling over many years to get help for their loved one under the current mental health system.”

The San Jose City Council meets at 11am Tuesday inside the council chambers at City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St. in San Jose. Click here to read the entire agenda. 

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

6 Comments

  1. A big thank you to Johnny Khamis and Raul Peralez of San Jose City Council for recognizing the success of Laura’s Law. It is self sustaining with an 82% kicker in financial savings. This should appeal to conservatives. As well the law saves lives. This should appeal to anyone. More than that it gives another tool to be used by our PD for potential avoidance of tragic consequences when faced with circumstances of limited outcomes. Mental health is everyone’s problem. Let’s find a way to help those in need.

  2. Originally, I was all in for the Laura’s Law gig but not the way the City/County is ramping up to use it. This is what is called the “Nuclear Option” since our existing services are “Crap” and have been leaving people to die on our streets.

    The City and County have failed all of Santa Clara County and have let our Down Town turn into “Hell’s Kitchen” and now it is so out of control they cannot stop it. Its county wide and has spread thru our transit system like the Plague and is more likely in your front yard by now.

    Big Tech Companies are jumping ship fast and this also includes almost every “Mom and Pop” business that has been a staple of our downtown community for longer than most people can remember.

    San Jose is Dying….

    Behavioral Health for Santa Clara County is a Joke and rarely if ever shows up. Those people should have been fired years ago and we continue to reward poor leadership in a system that does not work.

    We also focused on Booze and Opioids since there was no money in the Meth gig. All of the Federal and State grants where for other substances so we choose to “Beat a Dead Horse” and pretty much dig a hole in the wrong direction for over three years. (Great Job Supervisor Cindy Chavez)

    We have no services for these people but the money is flowing to many NON-Profits that are in bed with the people in power. They are living high off the Hog and squandering the money that you the TAX Payer have forked out to NOT have these zombies taking over our town.

    There is only a small percentage of the “REALLY BAD ONES” on the streets but these people in power are so incompetent they cannot even vet those ones out so we can better help the people that have it the hardest. It’s a free for all now and pretty much like the “Wild, Wild West of Meth”

    Just chime into City / County meetings and you will truly see how horrible your current leadership is in our community. These people are just a bunch of Muppet’s that do not even know what they are talking about.

    They allowed this to happen to your community and you should be remembering that when its time to vote in the next SCAM.

    One other thing….. The City of San Jose keeps trying to blame the county when they are the ones that took Motor Homes, Cars, Shelter, Personal belongings and never gave the people access to their stuff. They did this to thousands of people every month for years and look what happened. This was also put into high gear in preparation for Super Bowl 50 so San Jose (Santa Clara County) would look like the place to move to on the worlds stage. We all have seen the Boom downtown following the BIG GAME….

    We basically swept the entire homeless community (Operation Grinch) and then stock piled them into the Santa Clara County Jail (After taking everything they own never to be seen again) and the world did not get to see how bad things truly where on the streets of Silicon Valley. Then after 90 days we had to start letting people out and now we are experiencing the aftermath of that BIG Mistake…. We all know how many people died in our jails…. People should also remember how many of these poor people go beat and assaulted in a facility they should have never been forced into.

    Shame on you San Jose and Santa Clara County….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *