Disability Rights California Information on CARE Act
Disability Rights California Information on CARE Act
Disability Rights Advocates file petition challenging the constitutional validity of the CARE Act
Implementing this new system will harmfully impact individuals with disabilities and particularly Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and LGBTQIA+ communities.
Full press release, press conference and important documents:
Background on SB 1338
Disability Rights California is firm in its commitment to stop any policy that takes away the rights of people with disabilities, including the CARE Court framework. The CARE Court proposal could place Californians living with mental health disabilities and substance use disorders under involuntary court-ordered treatment.
DRC strongly opposes CARE Court because it is based on stigma and stereotypes of people living with mental health disabilities and experiencing homelessness and will disproportionately impact Black Californians, who make up 40% of the unhoused population, only furthering institutional racism.
While we agree that state resources must urgently be allocated towards addressing homelessness, hospitalization, conservatorship, and premature death of Californians living with severe mental illness, CARE Court is the wrong framework.
Because of a long history of discrimination in housing, employment, healthcare, policing, and other areas, Black and Brown Californians represent most of the unhoused population. They will be more likely to be subject to a CARE Court petition and the court system does not have the appropriate care for people with mental health disabilities, especially Black and Brown people. According to Mental Health America, clinicians overemphasize psychotic symptoms and overlook non-psychotic symptoms, such as major depression, when treating clients of other racial or ethnic backgrounds. This has led to Black men being over-diagnosed with schizophrenia compared to white counterparts.
In addition, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness in the United States, and research shows that housing is one of the main needs identified by survivors. Under CARE Court, a broad scope of people, including family members who may be the perpetrator of domestic violence, can file a petition creating a system for abuse.
CARE Court is a coerced, court-ordered treatment system that strips people with mental health disabilities of their right to make their own decisions about their lives. It will do more harm because studies show forced treatment lessens the likelihood of people seeking voluntary treatment in the future.
On March 3, 2022, Governor Newsom announced a policy framework for developing CARE Court in all of California’s 58 counties, which could place Californians living with mental health disabilities and substance use disorders who experience homelessness and/or incarceration under court-ordered treatment. You can read more about the CARE Court framework here: Fact Sheet: CARE Court (*Note: This is a government fact sheet.)
On March 10, 2022, Disability Rights California hosted a Town Hall event for DRC’s clients and community stakeholders to provide feedback about Governor Newsom’s CARE Court framework for providing services to unhoused people living with mental health disabilities and substance use disorders.
On April 8, 2022 DRC hosted a convening where advocates provided the most up-to-date information about what we know about the CARE Court framework. We also sought input of our community to combat any framework that demands costly resources, strips the rights of people with disabilities, and makes no commitment to provide housing.
Press Releases on SB 1338
- Join Disability Rights California at the Capitol Tomorrow to Strongly Urge California Senators to Vote NO on SB 1338 (Umberg) - 5/23/22 Press Release
- Disability Rights California Urges Governor Newsom to Not Put Funds into CARE Court - 5/13/22 Press Release
- Disability Rights California & Coalition's Letter in Opposition to CARE Court - 5/11/22 Opposition Letter
- DRC's Statement in response to Governor Newsom's Framework for CARE Court. - 5/7/22 Statement
- Collective Talking Points Opposing CARE Court from DRC's Community
Letters to the Legislature and Governor in Opposition to SB 1338 - CARE Court
- Disability Rights California & Over 50 Disability, Civil Rights, Racial Justice and Housing Advocacy Organizations Urge Governor Newsom to Veto SB 1338 – Sept 1, 2022
- Open Letter Governor Newsom: We Do Not Need CARE Court (SB 1338) – August 11, 2022
- Disability Rights California & Advocates Joint Letter to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations in opposition to SB 1338 – July 22, 2022
- Disability Rights California & Advocates Joint Letter to the Assembly Committee on Health in Opposition to SB 1338 – June 22, 2022
- Disability Rights California & Advocates Joint Letter to the Assembly Committee on Judiciary in Opposition to SB 1338 – June 14, 2022
- Disability Rights California & Coalition’s Joint Letter to the Senate Committee on Appropriations in Opposition to SB 1338 - May 11, 2022
- Disability Rights California & Coalition’s Joint Letter to the Senate Committee on Judiciary in Opposition to SB 1338 – April 12, 2022
Assembly Health Committee Testimony in Opposition of SB 1338 - Eric Harris, Director of Public Policy, DRC (video)
Articles related to SB 1338
- Editorial: Don’t count on Newsom’s CARE Courts to save San Francisco - 07/31/2022 San Francisco Chronicle
- Editorial: The false promise of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s CARE courts - 07/26/2022 Los Angeles Times
- California taxed millionaires to fix its mental health crisis. Why it’s fallen so short - 07/10/2022Los Angeles Times
- Sunday Commentary: The Homelessness Issue – Housing First Versus Mental Health and Addiction First - 07/03/2022 Davis Vanguard
- California’s Fight Against Homelessness Has Turned Desperate and Dangerous - 06/27/2022 The New York Times
- ‘CARE Court’ is No Solution for Unhoused People in California - 05/27/2022 Human Rights Watch
- Op-Ed: ‘CARE Court’ is no solution for unhoused people in California - 05/27/2022 Los Angeles Times
Disability Rights California Publications - Know Your Rights
- Fact Sheet: Disability-Based Housing Discrimination
- Emotional Support and Service Animals in Public Housing
- Discrimination Fact Sheet: Public Transportation
- Consumer Information for Complaints about Health Care Professionals, Facilities, and Programs
- Understanding the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act
- Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Toolkit
- Handbook for Challenging Mental Health Conservatorships
You can send comments, and questions to CARECourtFeedback@disabilityrightsca.org.