2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Los Angeles County, Calif., CA

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About the Program

Category: Health (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

The Los Angeles County Twin Towers Correctional Facility (TTCF) houses about 3,500 mentally ill inmates. About 1,000 inmates are classified by mental health staff as High Observation inmates who require regular 15-minute safety checks. Upon getting housed at TTCF, they are triaged by the mental health Supplemental Assessment Team (SAT) to determine their mental health classification level. The Towers SAT or Intake areas have a constant influx of high risk mentally ill patients who also have other health care concerns that need to be addressed timely before they decompensate. Preventing decompensation also prevents transfers to acute care facility and optimally utilize the resources within the system prior to sending the patient to an acute care facility. The "STEP-UP EARLY DETECTION BEFORE DECOMPENSATION OF HIGH RISK MENTALLY ILL INMATES" Program was instituted in September 2019. This is a multidisciplinary sustainability project with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and LA County Department of Health Services Correctional Health Services. The acronym STEP-UP means "Safe, Timely, Efficient, Plan of care, Upgrade, and Progress." The project catapulted in 2020 as evidenced by the significant decrease in acute care transfers; thus, improving overall health care outcomes and saving resources for LA County.

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