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University of Oxford
Can Laura's Law help the mentally ill? Researcher Tom Burns' surprising conclusion.
Can Laura's Law help the mentally ill? Researcher Tom Burns' surprising conclusion.

Laura's Law has been an option for counties in California since 2003, but only in recent weeks have three of the most populous ones — Los Angeles, Orange and San Francisco — voted to implement it. The law — like another one in New York, Kendra's Law — allows families or officials to ask the courts to order outpatient treatment for the seriously mentally ill. Will it help? A decade ago, Tom Burns, a psychiatrist and professor of social psychiatry at Oxford University, was among those arguing ardently for the British version of Laura' Law — "community treatment orders," or CTOs. Now, he says, the most thorough research —...

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