News Release

Council Continues to Support Implementation of CARE Act

Approves new court rules and forms, will collect implementation data, and provide training and technical assistance for judges and court staff
May 12, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO—The council at its May 12 business meeting approved new court rules and forms to implement the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act.

The act establishes a new, noncriminal proceeding that authorizes specified people to petition a civil court to create a voluntary CARE agreement or a court-ordered CARE plan. The plan would include treatment, housing support, and other services for persons with untreated schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Once the court has ordered a CARE plan, the court must hold regular status hearings to review the progress of the person under the plan.

The new rules and forms were posted for public comment, resulting in nearly 300 pages of input.  

“The comments revolved around two major themes that echo the goals of the judicial branch…fairness and accountability,” said Judge Jayne Chong-Soon Lee, chair of the council’s Probate and Mental Health Advisory Committee.

The committee revised the rules to address service/notice requirements to the parties involved, use simple language so the forms are easily understood, and contemplate interpreter or disability accommodations.

The act also directs the council to collect data on the CARE Act’s implementation, as well as provide training and technical assistance on the process for judges and court staff. Watch

Report on Pretrial Release Program
The council received a report on the statewide pretrial release program, which supports court programs and practices that promote the safe, efficient, fair, and timely pretrial release of people booked into jail.

The program supports judicial officers to make pretrial release decisions that impose the least restrictive conditions to address public safety that ensure defendants will return to court, as well as implement appropriate monitoring practices and provisions for people released.

This initial report to the council presents preliminary statewide data on booking, release, and demographic characteristics of arrestees. The report also notes how the council will continue to provide courts with technical support, financial review, site visits, and training for judicial officers and court staff on pretrial practices.

The council will now forward the report to the Legislature. Watch

Other Items on Council Meeting Agenda
The complete meeting agenda, council reports, and archived webcast are posted to the California Courts Meeting Information Center.