The Board approved an historic supplemental budget this week, including an investment of $461m of new funding in “Care First, Jails Last” initiatives.

To directly address the systemic issues surrounding over-incarceration and the racial disparities that are so deeply impacting LA County communities, the County created new units and new initiatives, each receiving significant funding in FY 2021-2022. These programs include Alternatives to Incarceration, the Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, and the Poverty Alleviation Initiative. Additionally, the creation of the Jail Closure Implementation Team will help depopulate and close Men’s Central Jail, a relic of an old, failed system.

Often, an endless cycle of incarceration begins in youth and becomes more and more difficult to break in adulthood if individuals don’t receive the resources and guidance they need to take a different path. That is why this fiscal year’s budget reflects the Board’s continued commitment to Youth Justice Reimagined — a paradigm shift away from a punitive model and towards a youth-centric development model. The budget includes more than $70 million in funding for programs and initiatives under the Youth Justice Reimagined umbrella, to make sure that youth are supported and set up for success.

These investments reflect LA County’s commitment to advancing a more just and equitable future for all County residents. The money we put into these efforts now will build a solid foundation for the interconnected web of community-based services and care needed to keep people out of jail and living as an integral part of society.This includes legal services that can help people navigate the often complex and confusing world of the criminal justice system.

You can learn more about this nearly half a billion dollar investment in LA County’s future here.