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CLUE LA - Supervisors' Meeting "Hijacked" by Mental Health Advocates

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In a well-orchestrated surprise attack, mental-health advocates quietly stormed the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors’ chambers this Tuesday, and in the words of one critic, “hijacked” the meeting to demand a range of treatment options for the mentally ill rather than just putting them behind bars. For more than an hour, more than a dozen people ​— ​including at least one mentally ill person, several mothers of mentally ill children, and many religious leaders ​— ​focused on an issue that wasn’t even on the board agenda.

The group, which was led by Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) and Families ACT, did so by taking advantage of the time at the beginning of public meetings that state law reserves as an open forum on any issue. Frequently, this time is monopolized by political eccentrics and crackpots, but activists of various stripes have recently been seizing it for their own agenda.

In this case, it was to hammer home the conclusion of a recent CLUE report showing that at any given time, 250 inmates at the County Jail are locked up for nonviolent offenses tied to mental illness rather than criminal intent.

View the Full Story from The Santa Barbra Independent

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