Mental illness! For some reason, we are perfectly happy discussing other chronic problems, from diabetes to the heartbreak of psoriasis, but mental illness? Let’s not talk about that right now. And because we don’t want to talk about it many people who suffer from it suffer alone. Mental illness can manifest itself in behavior that is unpleasant at best so many people who have it are estranged from their families and friends. They often rely on county mental health services for help.
In San Joaquin County, they have developed a new model for providing that help, a new way of treating some people with mental illness and supporting them as they get treatment. In the past, the County operated a large locked-down mental health facility.
The Latino Emergency Council was formed in early 2006 in Stanislaus County to set up an emergency response network linked to the Latino community. Today, the Council is engaging Stanislaus County’s large Spanish-speaking population on a continuous basis to prepare for emergencies and to respond when they occur.
“Water water everywhere, nor any drop to drink” complains the Ancient Mariner as he recounts a harrowing voyage at sea. Here in California, on dry land, we too lament our water situation. Like the Mariner, we sometimes run short of clean fresh water for thirsty cities and agricultural crops. And just as often it seems, we have too much water, in the wrong place, all at once. Dealing with a flood can be just as harrowing as going thirsty.
Instead of merely lamenting on that sad fact, the people at the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District are putting science to work to see if they can reduce storm-water runoff, improve water quality, use less irrigation water and replenish the aquifer at the same time
Crime doesn’t pay — it costs. Anyone who has ever been a crime victim can tell you that, but so can county sheriffs and probation chiefs who are responsible for keeping track of many of the people who commit crimes in California. They will tell you that it is far more expensive to keep someone in jail than it is to supervise them in the community. The corollary to that is it is far less expensive to help someone so they don’t break the law again, than it is to have to put them back in jail if they do. And if they aren’t committing more crimes, they aren’t creating anymore victims either. With that in mind, San Bernardino County is at the forefront of a growing trend in criminal justice: meeting the needs of low-risk offenders so they don’t reoffend and get sent back to jail.
The state’s 2011 shift of criminal justice responsibility to counties under AB 109 has generated extensive commentary and analysis about how well it’s working. As it happens, “Smart Justice” is the theme for the National Association of Counties’ County Government Month, and counties are indeed working smarter to manage these new responsibilities. Many counties are [...]