LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today approved a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District, and co-authored by Chair of the Board Holly J. Mitchell, Supervisor for the Second District, on the completion of the Restorative Justice Village Master Plan in pursuit of care first in the County.
On January 26, 2021, the Board of Supervisors passed a motion to engage NAC Architecture Inc. (NAC) to begin working to shift from vision to reality a Restorative Justice Village Master Plan (RJVMP) that would expand on the Hilda L. Solis Care First Village and the LAC+USC Restorative Care Village Project in the First District to build on the County’s “Care First, Jails Last” priority, vision, and Board-led and created initiatives to invest in the community, provide affordable housing for vulnerable residents, and bring economic development opportunities to the community in historic Chinatown.
In May 2021, in response to the motion, the County’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) prepared a report back that included several recommended next steps to begin work on an RJVMP. In June 2021, the Board of Supervisors approved the use of $500,000 for the preparation of the RJVMP scoping document. Almost a year later, NAC and its subconsultants produced a scoping document that includes the framework, which will guide its work along with deliverables for the RJVMP such as robust community outreach, assessment of available properties in the applicable geographic area, stakeholder engagement plan, potentials for wrap-around support services, and assessment of housing typologies.
For NAC and its subconsultants to move forward on the proposed deliverables and plan by the scoping documents, it will require up to $4,347,000 for the preparation of the RJVMP. NAC has proposed a timeline of 14 months to move forward on its plan and an additional nine months for any further engagement and follow-up meetings with a diverse group of community stakeholders.
“I am excited about this next phase as we shift from paper to the construction of ‘care first’ infrastructure ─ a permanent testament that Los Angeles County is committed to providing support and much-needed wraparound services through the Restorative Justice Village Master Plan for our most vulnerable residents,” said Supervisor Solis. “The hope for the Master Plan is to ease our homelessness and mental health crisis and to uplift alternatives to incarceration to strengthen public safety in the County.”
Building up the care first infrastructure will take time, however, it’s time worth investing in given the positive and meaningful impact it will have on the County’s most vulnerable residents that have the highest needs. It will also require a village to create a health and person-focused master plan that provides the needs for residents to live, thrive, and succeed, end the County’s reliance on mass incarceration, and develop sustainable strategies to end homelessness.
“Los Angeles County’s jail system is, shamefully, the largest mental health institution in the country. The urgency of this crisis cannot be overstated,” said Chair Mitchell. “The creation of the Restorative Justice Village Master Plan is an important step towards realizing the Care First, Jail Last vision by ensuring County and community partners are best positioned to provide critical services to impacted Angelenos.”
The motion approved today finds that the actions do not constitute a project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); directs the County’s CEO, in collaboration with the Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative, Office of Diversion and Reentry, Jail Closure Implementation Team, the Department of Public Works, and the soon-to-be established Justice, Care, and Opportunities Department (JCOD) to oversee the delivery of the proposed Restorative Justice Village Master Plan through the as-needed contract with NAC; and authorizes the CEO in collaboration with the Department of Public Works to use up to $4,347,000 in the project.
To view the full motion, click here.