Brief History of the LPS actRead Now
How the LPS Act came about.
"The LPS Act refers to Sections 5150, 5151 and 5152 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. It is a California law governing govern the involuntary civil commitment". This act was brought about in 1969 in an attempt to stem the influx of patients into mental hospitals.
The Lanterman Petris Short Act came about as a reaction to the protests against state institutionalization. The LPS stands for the founders of the act. These people sought to create the LPS hold system in order to prevent the overuse of long term hospitalizations. With such a layered system, the patients would not be immediately "dumped" into state hospitals. With a leveled approach, the patient is assessed at each one 72 hour, 14 day, 30 day to determine if they have stabilized enough to not necessitate long term detention. If the patient is found stable after the 14 day hold expires, then further hospitalization is no longer necessary. Even if a conservatee is on a T-con and the public conservator investigator finds that the conservatee no longer fits the criteria for grave disability, they can terminate the process and make a recommendation to the court and judge that the conservatee is no longer in need of the services of a conservator.
When the state hospitals closed down, many patients were left to find services for themselves. If they were too ill to find food and shelter for themselves they ended up on the streets. This was no a viable option for many policy makers. The LPS act seeks to help those who are too ill to take care of themselves. If the doctor finds that the patient cannot take care of their basic needs, then they find cause to place the patient in the care of the guardian (the public conservator). Even though the LPS is not a perfect system for conservatees, it is far better than warehousing the mentally ill in state hospitals. However, we need to find more solutions to manage the homeless who fall through the cracks of the system.
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