IF A LOVED ONE IS ARRESTED
Supporting and coping with a loved one who suffers from a brain disorder can be extremely challenging and stressful. Knowledge, as well as your love and fortitude, will be essential in helping you to become a strong and effective support system for your family member.
NAMI Los Angeles County has prepared a step-by-step guide for family members. The guide is posted at the Los Angeles Sheriff Site. A summary of that step-by-step guide has been posted at PsychCentral in an article titled “What to Do If a Loved One with Bipolar Disorder Is Arrested”
In addition, NAMI California’s site contains useful links and pages about criminal problems for loved ones
The Los Angeles Superior Court posts information about Department 95 and 95B, the departments handling issues related to mental health.
Think carefully about posting bail for your family member. No one wants a loved one to remain incarcerated for any length of time. It is an unpleasant experience for them as well as the family. Bail Bonds are not cheap and are very closely regulated by Statute. Moreover, you must ask yourself the following question. Will your family member be able to comply with the terms of the bail and appear in court when required? Also, as hard as it may seem, jail may be a safer place for a person with severe mental illness who is in crisis rather than having your loved one wander the streets with no help at all. At least in jail they will be fed, will have shelter, and be given access to medication treatments.
- General Information about California Bail Bonds
- Google Search for Bail Bonds in the Los Angeles Area
REPRESENTATION AND ASSISTANCE
LOS ANGELES COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH COURT LINKAGE PROGRAM
The Mental Health Court Linkage Program provides services to individuals with a mental illness who have encountered the criminal justice system. There are presently five established programs:
- Court Liaison Program. Provides diversion and linkage to mental health treatment for adult consumers at all or most criminal court houses across L.A. County. The staff work to link clients with services while in custody and upon release from jail. For more information about the Court Liaison Program CLICK HERE.
- Community Reintegration Program. Residential alternative sentencing program composed of beds at Olive Vista, a locked IMD, and Gateways Satellite, an IMD Stepdown. Both probrams provide a therapeutic environment and work to link the clients with services upon completion of the program.
- Co-Occurring Disorders Court Program. A specially designated court to rehabilitate individuals with both mental illness and substance abuse issues.
- 1370.01 PC Program (M.I.S.T.). Provides misdemeanor defendants found incompetent to stand trial direct linkage from L.A. County Mental Health Court/Department 95 to treat and restore competency.
- AB109 Revocation Court. The Mental Health Court Linkage team screens clients at the court and works in partnership with Jail Linkage and Countywide Resources Management to recommend and secure the appropriate level of care.
For more information about these programs, contact DMH Office of the Family Advocate (213) 251-6581, Access-24 hr. Mental Health Hotline (800) 854-7771, or the Public Defender (213) 974-2811.
GENERAL AND RELATED INFORMATION
For relevant information not specific to Los Angeles and the South Bay, NAMI National posts a Q&A about dealing with the criminal justice system and publishes “A Guide to Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System.”
- A Guide to Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System
- NAMI National Legal Center Lawyer Referral