Race and Policing
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People from racial minorities who have mental health conditions are routinely routed to the criminal justice system instead of to alternative, community-based programs shown to better address their needs. Based on extensive community outreach, Dignity and Power Now seeks to highlight race-based disparities in treatment of persons with mental health conditions in Los Angeles (LA) County Jails. The largest jail system in the United States and the world, LA County Jails are often referred to as the nation's largest de-facto mental health hospital warehousing approximately 19,000 pre-sentenced and sentenced individuals. Despite an alarming lack of data on mental health conditions ofpeople from racial minorities held in LA County Jails, increasing numbers of testimonies reveal that the provision of mental health services– where available – is impacted by the race of the prisoner, while lack of access to mental health services leads to incarceration.