Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Politics & Govt
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Published on June 01, 2023
San Francisco Appears to Need More State Funding to Launch CARE Court System

California is taking action against mental health issues and addiction with the launch of CARE Courts (Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment). These courts aim to divert severely mentally ill individuals into treatment, instead of jail. San Francisco County, along with other counties, is required to implement the CARE Court system by October 1, 2023. However, San Francisco faces challenges in setting up its CARE Court, as it received $4.3 million from the state, but the Department of Public Health estimates it will cost $50 million per year to keep it running.

Currently, existing programs and structures seem inadequate due to a lack of capacity. There is controversy surrounding the city's claim of having added 400 new beds for mental health treatment. Critics like social worker Charlie Berman argue that the CARE Court may not have much effect on the issue. City Attorney David Chiu adds that state funding is insufficient to cover the extra work involved in operating the CARE Court system. Despite these concerns, Mayor London Breed dismisses funding issues as an excuse for inaction, insisting on the importance of taking action to address mental illness. Continue reading the full article on SFist →

Photo: Tyler Ortiz