The Steinberg Institute applauds Assembly Public Safety Committee for advancing AB 2882

SACRAMENTO (April 2, 2024) – The Steinberg Institute applauds the Assembly Public Safety Committee for voting today to advance Assembly Bill 2882. This legislation, co-sponsored by the Steinberg Institute, will enhance existing funding and reporting practices, creating more transparency in our community corrections system, and delivering a safer California for all.

More than half of people incarcerated in county jails have behavioral health needs, but most counties spend less than 15% of their criminal justice funding on behavioral health services. At the same time, the way counties keep track of their spending and outcomes is inconsistent and spotty.

“Since public safety realignment, the number of people in county jails with behavioral health needs has more than doubled,” Tara Gamboa-Eastman, Director of Government Affairs, testified, citing a recent Steinberg Institute report. “Now, more than half of the county jail population has behavioral health needs.”

Authored by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), AB 2882 addresses these issues by calling for more behavioral health stakeholders to be included in the planning process for spending these dollars. The bill also calls for better reporting on how that money is spent and proposes the development of a public dashboard that tracks both dollars and outcomes.

“We know that more transparency leads to better government. This bill will help keep our community corrections system accountable and ensure that the mental health care needs of some of our most vulnerable Californians are not forgotten. We hope to see full passage of AB 2882 through the Assembly,” said Steinberg Institute CEO Karen Larsen.

The bill is one of six pieces of legislation sponsored by the Steinberg Institute this legislative session. Each is aligned with the Institute’s Vision 2030, an initiative focused on reducing the cycle of hospitalization, homelessness and incarceration for those living with behavioral health conditions.

In addition to the Steinberg Institute, AB 2882 is also sponsored by Californians for Safety and Justice.

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