Public Counsel - Protecting Kids

Public Counsel's Children's Rights Project (CRP), led by Directing Attorney Laura Faer, together with a team of lawyers from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Disability Rights California; and Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc., secured a terrific victory to ensure continued delivery of critical mental health services to students with mental illness notwithstanding the Governor's line-item veto of funding for the services.  Laura and Public Counsel Staff Attorneys Ben Conway and Brian Capra led the team, which successfully filed an ex parte application for temporary restraining order and obtained two stipulated orders to immediately restore these often life-saving services to 20,000 children in the state until the end of the year. 


Additionally, a settlement was announced just this week to increase juvenile hall safety for youth with developmental disabilities.  After an investigation showed that youth with disabilities are often in danger while housed in juvenile hall and that youth with developmental disabilities were detained 6 to 18 months longer than others, a settlement with Los Angeles County has been reached that will launch critical reforms. The investigation was carried out by Disability Rights California, Public Counsel, Disability Rights Legal Center, Hunton & Williams, LLP and Traber & Voorhees


"After we notified The County of these violations, the Probation Department and its counsel stepped up and worked diligently with us to craft the needed reforms.  We have every hope that Los Angeles County will soon have a model program for identification, assessment, and habilitative services for children with developmental disabilities," said Laura Faer.