November 2020 Newsletter

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November 2020 Newsletter  | Volume 5, Issue 10

Dear Friends:

One of the most significant challenges facing the criminal justice system is how it addresses individuals living with mental illness. What steps can we take to keep our communities safe and help these individuals get the treatment they need so they may become productive members of society?

My office and I have worked with other agencies to meet this challenge.

A report I issued last month, “A Blueprint for Change: Five Years Later,” documents the unprecedented collaboration that produced innovative approaches to keep individuals experiencing a mental health crisis out of the criminal justice system.


The accomplishments include:

  • Training 11,000 law enforcement officers and other first responders on how to interact safely with individuals in a mental health crisis
  • Expanding specially trained teams that pair law enforcement officers on patrol with mental health clinicians
  • Doubling the number of urgent care centers that accept individuals in a mental health crisis in lieu of jail 
  • Establishing the Los Angeles County Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) to develop and implement criminal diversion for individuals with mental and/or substance use disorders
  • Launching three Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) Courts that have removed 1,742 individuals from custody and placed them into permanent supportive housing and treatment, with a 90% retention rate
  • Assisting 4,444 individuals with mental illness secure permanent supportive housing in 195 project-based sites and in market-rate apartments
  • Creating a first-of-its-kind Mental Health Division in my office

These innovations and others stemmed from my call to create a comprehensive mental health diversion plan for the county and the initial report in 2015 from the Criminal Justice Mental Health Advisory Board, which I founded.

By working together, we have realized significant change. I hope you take the time to read the report, which is linked here

This effort benefits the safety of our community, the safety of our first responders and the safety of individuals with mental illness, their family members, friends and neighbors.


Jackie Lacey
Los Angeles County District Attorney

After District Attorney Report, No Horse Deaths at Meet

DA-NL202011-Santa Anita Task Forse Report3

Just months after the District Attorney’s Office issued recommendations to improve safety at California horse racetracks, Santa Anita Park’s 16-day autumn meet ended with no horse racing or training fatalities.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey called for a task force investigation last year after a wave of racehorse deaths at Santa Anita.

The task force report was released in December, which urged new laws and regulations to help reduce fatalities. Click here for the report.

DA_NL202011-Duties of the DA

The District Attorney does more than file criminal charges and prosecute crimes. Learn about her many responsibilities by watching this video.

Online Case Submissions Double During Pandemic

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the District Attorney’s Office doubled the number of cases presented for criminal filing consideration without detectives having to leave their desks.

Previously, a detective had to walk a case into an office for a deputy district attorney to review before criminal charges could be filed. That was time-consuming for law enforcement personnel, and, in the age of COVID-19, an unnecessary health risk.

In an effort to reduce its footprint in public buildings, the office expanded a 2016 program that allows law enforcement personnel to submit electronically case documents, such as police reports, directly to filing deputy district attorneys throughout Los Angeles County.

Nearly 20% of all cases were submitted using the Electronic Charge Evaluation Request (eCER) program in September, up from just 8% in January. A total of 26 police departments and 20 sheriff’s stations use the electronic program to present cases for criminal case filing review.

“This program allows deputy district attorneys to review cases at the click of the button and gives detectives more time in the field for investigation,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “It is another example of how technology is improving our efficiency, while also helping us to stop the spread of the coronavirus by reducing public contact in our workplace.”

After the detective uploads a file, a deputy district attorney may review the materials on a computer screen. Detectives receive an email notifying them that the case was accepted or declined or needs further investigation. The system also archives all submitted documents, allowing them to be easily viewed at any time by deputy district attorneys.

The program is expected to be made available to every primary law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County within 18 months.


In 2016, District Attorney Jackie Lacey created the Cyber Crime Division to prosecute identity theft and other high-tech crimes. Watch this video to learn more.