This is a non-criminal enforcement approach to nuisance abatement and quality of life offenses - which utilize civil fines (instead of arrest, incarceration and criminal records) - for people who violate LA's Municipal Code. This enforcement approach is far superior to the use of criminal courts and criminal sanctions to deal with minor matters of public behavior. This also includes forms related to Street Vending. Find out more

Dispute Resolution is a confidential, voluntary and free service in which a neutral third party facilitates communication between two people to resolve their disputes out of the courts. We now offer Public Safety Mediation, which provides an opportunity to mediate selected complaints of discourtesy and bias with the purpose of building understanding and transforming the relationship between LA's public safety officers and the communities they serve.

Visit Dispute Resolution to learn more. 

GANG ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING

The Gang Alternative Sentencing Program provides young adult offenders exhibiting risk factors predictive of gang membership and/or who commit misdemeanor gang crimes an alternative to jail time and unsupervised (summary) probation common in misdemeanor cases. This program is referred to as CURE (Community Uniting for Resolution and Empowerment) by community partner, the Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD). In this program, offenders otherwise eligible for a sentence of probation are identified and provided the opportunity to participate in supervised programs after they enter a no contest/guilty plea and as an alternative to sentencing and jail time. Successful participants may earn the reduction or dismissal of their criminal case. 

HOMELESS COURT CLINIC

Operated by HEART, the Homeless Engagement and Response Team, these pop-up legal clinics for people experiencing homelessness help resolve eligible traffic and pedestrian infractions and related warrants and fines which can detrimentally affect someone's ability to get a job, access social services or get permanent housing. Instead of paying fines they cannot afford, participants engage in services.  

Through an innovative partnership between the LA City Attorney's Office and the LA County Board of Supervisors, these clinics are generally one of the wide array of services and resources offered at the one-stop Homeless Connect Days which take place throughout LA.

 

For more information, email HomelessCourtEvents@lacity.org or call 311.

 

More on our work helping people experiencing homelessness

LA DOOR

LA DOOR is a comprehensive, health-focused, preventative approach to addiction that proactively engages individuals at elevated risk of returning to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office on a new misdemeanor offense related to substance use, mental illness, or homelessness. Over 80% of LA DOOR participants are homeless. Rather than waiting to charge new arrests, LA DOOR delivers peer-led multidisciplinary social services to five "hotspot" locations - one for each day of the week - to proactively engage participants in substance use treatment, mental health support, physical healthcare, and case management – all without asking law enforcement to be the first point of contact. Though most participants are engaged through outreach, LA DOOR also offers pre-booking diversion on eligible Prop 47 drug arrests. Participants who go through pre-booking diversion can take advantage of LA DOOR services instead of having their arrest processed for charging.


To implement LA DOOR, the Office of the City Attorney partners with SSG Project 180 for its outreach and intensive outpatient case management services, West Angeles Community Development Corporation and Ms. Hazel’s House for LA DOOR transitional housing, and the Public Defender’s Office for addressing participants’ legal barriers. From January 2018 to March 2019, LA DOOR assisted 451 individuals in South LA, with 281 completing two months of case management services, 164 receiving substance use treatment, 81 receiving mental health care, 64 receiving physical health care, 33 receiving legal support, and over 100 receiving housing support. LA DOOR has operated in South LA (Southwest, Southeast, and 77th LAPD Divisions) since January 2017, is expanding into Central LA (Central, Rampart, and Newton LAPD Divisions) beginning in January, 2020. LA DOOR is funded through $12 million in Proposition 47 grants. The LA DOOR project is one of several projects created by the City Attorney’s Recidivism Reduction and Drug Diversion Unit. For more information, contact:

Jamie Larson, Supervising Attorney - jamie.larson@lacity.org 
Kyle Kirkpatrick, Senior Program Administrator - kyle.kirkpatrick@lacity.org 

MISDEMEANOR MENTAL HEALTH DIVERSION PILOT ("MACARTHUR PILOT")

Primary Partner Agencies: Los Angeles City Attorney, DMH, Public Defender/Alternate Public Defender, Courts, LASD, DMH, DHS, Public Health (SAPC-CENS), Project 180.


Overview: In June of 2019, after we partnered with the Office of the Public Defender to apply to and receive funding from the MacArthur Foundation, we implemented a pilot to divert persons suffering from mental illness charged with misdemeanor offenses. The pilot follows the requirements set forth under Penal Code Section 1001.36, which allows for a pretrial diversion if all of the following requirements are met:

1. The defendant suffers from a mental disorder identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (with some disorder exceptions);

2. His or her mental disorder was a significant factor in the commission of the charged offense;

3. In the opinion of a qualified mental health expert, the defendant’s symptoms of the mental disorder motivating the criminal behavior would respond to mental health treatment (the recommendation must include a treatment plan);

4. The defendant consents to diversion and waives the defendant’s right to a speedy trial;

5. The defendant agrees to comply with treatment as a condition of diversion; and,

6. The court is satisfied that the defendant will not pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety (PC 1170.18) if treated in the community.

  
The resources available for misdemeanor defendants to get assessed and given a treatment plan are extremely scarce. In addition, the prolonged period of time it takes to get assessed and placed – assuming a resource is found – makes mental health diversion very unappealing for most misdemeanor defendants. This is especially true given the fact that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department immediately releases a defendant from custody if he is sentenced to 180 days of county jail or less. This has a cyclical effect – the defendant, who is usually homeless, takes the offer and is released from custody back to the street only to be rearrested and end up right back in court/custody. The recidivism rate amongst this population is overwhelming – with some estimates as high as 90%. The MacArthur pilot was developed with the hopes of providing a solution to this problem.

 

The grant received from the MacArthur Foundation is used to fund a licensed clinical social worker (“LCSW”) (through DMH) and a case manager (through Project 180). The LCSW and the case manager are embedded in the misdemeanor arraignment court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Courts Building (“CCB”) and complete an in-court assessment (with the help of access to previous mental health records - if they exist), fill out a form motion for mental health diversion pursuant to Penal Code Section 1001.36 and match the defendant with a live-in treatment program. The participant is picked up from custody as soon as possible (usually within 48 hours or less). The participants return to court for progress reports once a month. The grant also provides resources for toiletries, clothes, transportation and other items to help the participants integrate back into society. This model is based on successful programs throughout the country.

 

The pilot is meant to be a collaborative – not adversarial - process.  It is important that defense attorneys and prosecutors are properly trained and view the process as a team effort as the defense and prosecution must agree on which cases to jointly recommend for diversion under the pilot.

 
Program Success: To date, the MacArthur Pilot Team has assessed a total of 462 defendants and accepted 125 into the pilot program. Of the total accepted into the program, 70 participants enrolled and 39 of those are still active in the program for an overall success rate of 55%.

 
Over 50% of the participants are homeless. Even more are at risk of being homeless.

 

Only approximately five of the current participants have picked up a new arrest/case – which is only a 13% recidivism rate amongst current participants. Most of them have been reassessed and placed back into the program with no further problems. One of the participants has a current felony and the felony judge is going to allow the participant to complete the program for the felony.      


Three participants have completed program. When a participant completes the program, there is a mini ceremony in court and the Judge presents the participant with a certificate. The participant speaks about their experience in the program if they so choose. The statements of the graduated participants truly speak to the potential for rehabilitation if given the proper resources.  Comments made by graduating participants include: "I feel awake." "I have confidence now." "I feel like I can do it this time." One of the graduates was able to be reunited with his family because he was doing so well.

       
Pilot Expansion: Many of the defendants assessed for the program are too sick at arraignment to be placed in available live in treatment facilities. Most of these people are more stable and/or medicated by the pretrial date if they stay in custody. Based on this information, and the desire to approve more people for the program, the Partner Agencies requested additional staffing for CCB from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (“DMH”). Specifically, we requested that three additional LCSWs and three additional case managers be placed at CCB to help with assessments in the pretrial courts, as well as, to help with any emergency issues that come up with defendants suffering from mental illness. DMH countered with a proposal to place one LCSW and one case manager at both the Airport Courthouse and the Van Nuys Courthouse. The expansion will be funded by DMH.

NEIGHBORHOOD JUSTICE

Developed by LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, the Neighborhood Justice Program (NJP) allows some first-time, non-violent offenders to avoid court but still take responsibility for their actions. In this program, offenders appear before a panel of community volunteers to discuss the crime, its harm to the victims and community, and to determine an appropriate obligation. NJP is currently seeking volunteers to add to its 350-strong army of community change agents.

Some NJP Stats:

  • 5876 cases referred to  NJP as of May 31,2020

  • 3,366 cases resolved through community panels

  • 5% Recidivism rate for those that have completed our program. 

  • 24,500 Hours of Community Service/Obligations completed by our participants 

  • NJP trained about 400 community volunteers. 

Find out more and volunteer

PROSTITUTION DIVERSION

The Prostitution Diversion Program, which was established in 2008, focused first as a diversion program for first time adult offenders or “johns” (who were not arrested for soliciting a minor). The program began as a pilot in South Los Angeles along the Figueroa Corridor, an area known historically for street walking prostitution. For those defendants arrested first-time as prostitutes, they are given the opportunity to receive a diversion from prosecution if they agree to participate in an education program regarding the dangers of prostitution, how to keep themselves safe or risk reduction, and referrals to wrap around services to help them transition out of sex work.

 

City Attorney Mike Feuer expanded the program in 2013 to encompass the entire City of Los Angeles with special emphasis on a partnership with the Mary Magdalene Program to address issues of chronic prostitution in the San Fernando Valley. As part of this expansion, City Attorney Mike Feuer also expanded eligibility for certain repeat offenses of prostitution citing that many prostitutes are in fact victims of sex trafficking.

TEEN COURT TRUANCY PREVENTION

The Truancy Prevention Program seeks to combat truancy through education, educating parents about their legal responsibility to send children to school through community outreach, letters, brochures, meetings and hearings. After a school year of providing these interventions, if parents continue failing to send their children to school, they could face prosecution for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

In an effort to avoid prosecution of parents, City Attorney Mike Feuer has established the Truancy Teen Court, which allows parents to avoid prosecution through this pre-filing diversion program. In Truancy Teen Court a jury comprised of other students asks questions of the parents and their children to determine the underlying reasons for truancy. Some of the recommendations the jury may order include parenting class, restorative counseling, tutoring, mentoring, volunteering at school and letters of apology to teachers as measures to address truancy.

For more information, email erika.sandoval@lacity.org.

TRANSITIONAL AGED YOUTH DIVERSION PILOT

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Public Defender (PD) and Alternate Public Defender (APD), is launching a services-centered diversion program for persons between the ages of 18-25. The Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) will be the case manager and service provider for the pilot. The initial pilot, due to the intensive case management involved, will have capacity for 8 to 10 participants as follows:

 

  • Persons in this age group charged with Penal Code §484a/490.2 (petty theft); PC 602 (any trespass section that is not domestic violence related); PC 647(f) (intoxicated in public); PC 415 (disturbing the peace); PC 594a (vandalism - depending on the victim and restitution amount); and in very limited circumstances VC10851a, will be eligible for the pilot; 

  • LACA, in conjunction with the PD/APD, will select cases from the calendar in Department 48 (arraignment court) on November 7, 2019 and November 21, 2019 for interview by the Youth Advocate from CRCD;  

  • The Youth Advocate will interview and assess the candidates that accept the terms of the program and determine what services are needed; 

  • The Participant will waive time for arraignment and be placed on informal diversion for a period of six months and enter into a contract to check in with their case manager at least once a week, enroll in an academic program or employment, complete 20 hours of civic engagement and complete other terms as assessed based on need of the Participant;

  • Participants will come to court for monthly progress reports;

  • At the end of the diversion/completion of the program, the case will be dismissed and the participants will be provided with an exit plan. 

After three months, the program will be assessed and ways to expand the program to other service providers and to include a larger number of participants will be explored.  

COMMUNITY JUSTICE INITIATIVE TRUST FUND

The Community Justice Initiative (CJI) Trust Fund was established to support CJI programs and can accept donations from non-profit organizations, corporations, foundations and small business. To make a donation, a check can be made out directly to the City of Los Angeles, with a notation stating CJI Trust Fund. The CJI Trust Fund ensures that donated funds will be used for the public purpose of advancing the programs and goals of CJI.

 
The check can be mailed or delivered to the following address:                                                                                                                               

City Attorney Mike Feuer 
Community Justice Initiative Trust Fund
200 N. Main Street, 8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012


Charitable contributions to a State or its political subdivisions are tax deductible under section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code, provided the contribution or gift is made exclusively for public purposes. The City of Los Angeles is a chartered municipality and a political subdivision of the State of California.   


The following guidelines apply to entities providing support:            

 

1. Any amount $4,999.99 and under will be deposited directly into the CJI Trust Fund. 
2. Any amount $5,000.00 or more will go through a City Council acceptance process prior to being deposited into the CJI Trust Fund.                                    
3. Matching donations are accepted. 
4. The City Attorney’s Office will provide a letter acknowledging receipt of the contribution. 

5. For individuals seeking to make a contribution, in kind goods or volunteer services in lieu of a monetary donation can be accepted. 

For more information regarding CJI programs and/or volunteering, please contact Camilo.Cruz@lacity.org

For more information regarding the CJI Trust Fund, please contact Janette.Flintoft@lacity.org.

 

[1] The deductibility of any contribution or gift will depend on your individual circumstances. Please consult with your tax advisor to determine whether your donation is tax deductible in whole or in part. This letter is not intended to constitute legal or tax advice.

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The Office of Mike Feuer

Los Angeles City Attorney

James K. Hahn City Hall East, Suite 800

Los Angeles, CA 90012 | 213-978-8100