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Gov. Newsom on His New Plan to Tackle Mental Health, Homelessness with ‘CARE Courts’

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Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a press conference to unveil the next phase of California's pandemic response in the UPS Healthcare warehouse filled with personal protective equipment in Fontana Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom has introduced a new policy framework to provide community-based mental health and substance use disorder treatment services to Californians, many of whom are experiencing homelessness. The proposal calls for a statewide network of CARE (Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment) Courts to serve as a mental health arm of county civil courts and create court-ordered care plans. The proposal has received support from a number of mayors or city officials across the state, including Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego. Critics worry this plan’s court orders perpetuates a history of state control over people with mental illness and disabilities that not ultimately serve them well. Gov. Newsom joins us to discuss his proposal – then we’ll hear expert reactions and unpack what the plan may look like in action.


Gavin Newsom, governor, State of California

Jason Elliott, senior counselor to Governor Gavin Newsom

Kim Pederson, senior attorney, Disability Rights California

Jenna Grigsby, chief deputy city attorney, Criminal Division, Santa Monica City Attorney's Office

Maya Buenaventura, research manager, California Policy Lab


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