In July 2018, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center (OVMC) opened an 18-bed inpatient psychiatric unit specifically focused on the treatment of patients enrolled in Los Angeles County’s Office of Diversion & Re-entry (ODR) program, a unique initiative that identifies patients with severe mental illness who are incarcerated and transfers them to an acute treatment setting for clinical stabilization. The forensic inpatient unit is designed for individuals who have been adjudicated as Misdemeanor or Felony Incompetent to Stand Trial (MIST/FIST) and have a severe and persistent mental illness. Since its inauguration, over 400 men and women have been diverted from the Los Angeles County jails to OVMC, where they have received state-of-the-art psychiatric interventions and transitioned to continuing treatment, rehabilitation and housing services in the community. This program has served as a model for jail diversion programs throughout the United States.
The ODR inpatient psychiatry unit at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center (6C) offers a new and unique service to Los Angeles County residents by filling the need to provide state-of-the-art biobehavioral treatment in a therapeutic environment for patients in the correctional system. Second, 6C improves the administration of an existing county government program (ODR) by augmenting its services with an essential treatment option; namely, inpatient psychiatric treatment. Third, 6C promotes intergovernmental cooperation and coordination by successfully and seamlessly transitioning seriously and persistently mentally ill patients from the correctional system operated by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department to the mental health programs organized by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. As such, 6C represents a creative approach to the US Department of Justice’s requirement that mentally ill patients receive appropriate psychiatric treatment regardless of their legal status within the correctional system. Moreover, 6C has demonstrated measurable results in terms of decreased recidivism rates, increased cost-effectiveness, and improved quality of life for the 400+ patients it has served since its inception in July 2018.