7 California counties will soon start implementing a new controversial state program called 'CARE Court' that aims to manage part of the homeless crisis. The CARE Court program would allow first responders, health care workers and family members to ask the court to force homeless people into treatment programs for various psychotic and substance disorders. The first cohort of counties to launch the program are Glenn, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and the City and County of San Fransisco. The inital counties are working towards launching the program by October of 2023 with the remaining counties to be added to the prgram at a later date.
The bill for this program was authored by Senator Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) and Senator Susan Talamanted Eggman (D-STockton) and CARE stands for Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment. The Office of the Governor claims "the CARE Act delivers mental health and substance use disorder services to the most severely impaired Californians who too often suffer in homelessness or incarceration without treatment." The program could last up to 2 years, and those who fail to participate in treatment could be placed into conservatorship. But homeless advocates say there are not enough resources to make sure those who want and need the help will get it. The ACLU of Southern California calls the program draconian and morally wrong.