Pregnant Behind Bars, Part 3: When Things Go Wrong During Diversion

Diverting pregnant people from LA County’s jails is a complex process involving many moving parts and many players — including the diversion court, probation, child welfare, health care clinicians, case managers, housing providers, and the clients themselves.

In the third part of this multi-part series, our partners at WitnessLA explore some of the ways in which the process of diversion can jump the rails.

Analysis: How Schools Can Ensure an Equitable Recovery from COVID

While California has one of the lowest COVID-19 transmission rates in the nation and a high vaccination rate, the reopening of schools has proven rocky.

To better understand how the reopening effort is playing out on the ground, I spoke with educators from Oakland Unified School District and Los Angeles Unified School District — two public-school districts that primarily serve students of color.

Letter From the Editor: How Racism Affects Californians

The pandemic and protests have laid bare the depths of our nation’s disparities. Your race should not determine whether you live or die. It should not influence whether your doctor listens to you, or whether you can breathe clean air.

But—too often—it does.

In my own family, I’ve seen the results of racism and redlining play out over generations in Los Angeles, limiting where some family members could purchase homes, raise their children and retire.

Opinion: Governor’s Veto Widens Health Disparities

Even as Governor Newsom’s administration is working to help Californians access care more easily through technology, it is preventing providers from connecting virtually to better meet the needs of Medi-Cal patients.

Gavin Newsom’s veto of SB 365 means doctors serving people insured under Medi-Cal won’t be reimbursed if they consult with a specialist online or over the phone to provide their patients better care.

Striving to Meet the Mental Health Needs of Children with Physical Health Conditions

Research shows children with chronic illnesses are at least twice as likely as healthy children to develop a mental health disorder. They’re at higher risk for neglect and abuse. Their caregivers and siblings are also at increased risk for mental distress.

Yet there are few mental health treatment programs that cater to the needs of these children and their families. The MEND program at Loma Linda University is an exception.

Pregnant Behind Bars, Part Two: When Housing Changes Everything

The process begins with a list of names.

Every few days, the obstetrics team inside Los Angeles County’s main women’s lockup, the Century Regional Detention Facility, sends the county’s Office of Diversion and Reentry a roster of pregnant people currently held in the facility.

The goal is to decide who qualifies for the Maternal Health Diversion Program, which diverts pregnant women away from jail and into supportive housing.

For Children with Disabilities, Climate Change Brings Multiple Threats

Climate change is a growing threat to people with disabilities. Not only is the weather getting hotter, but Californians are facing more frequent wildfires, poor air quality, evacuations and power outages. These events are particularly difficult to navigate for people with complex medical conditions and those who care for them.

Yet, researchers and policymakers have historically overlooked this vulnerable population when it comes to emergency planning.

Pregnant Behind Bars, Part One: Second Chances

Women have become the fastest-growing incarcerated population in the U.S., even as overall national incarceration numbers have begun to slowly recede. Approximately 80 percent of the 2.9 million women jailed each year in the U.S. are mothers.

Los Angeles County’s Maternal Health Diversion Program disrupts the incarceration cycle by moving pregnant people out of jail cells and into supportive housing.

Opinion: Federal Legislation Can Advance Oral Health Equity and Racial Justice

High costs, lack of clarity over which benefits are covered and limited providers, especially ones that reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, have forced historically excluded communities to delay or completely forgo oral health care.

Delayed care often leads to excruciating pain only a costly emergency room visit can fix, leaving people with thousands of dollars of medical debt.

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