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Abby Sewell
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Abby Sewell

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Despite spotty implementation, researchers found promise in a Los Angeles County program that used risk assessment in an attempt to prevent foster kids from crossing over to the juvenile justice system.
Five years ago, Los Angeles County child welfare officials teamed up with criminal justice experts in the hope of stemming the flow of foster kids into the juvenile justice system.
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When I first learned of the case of Jesse Opela, a 17-year-old kid in the Los Angeles County Probation foster care system, he appeared to be on track to get adopted -- an exceedingly rare outcome for probation foster youth. That didn't work out. What emerged over the next few months was a much more complicated story.
Jesse Opela hunched on a plastic chair in the "music room" at Central Juvenile Hall, a cramped space with no air conditioning, an old CD boombox, a keyboard and a bookshelf filled with aging bestsellers. Tears rolled down the sturdy 17-year-old's face as he apologized to his probation officer.
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LA County supervisors will probably be voting shortly to end the 287(g) immigration enforcement program in the county jails. Here's a look at the political dynamics behind the decision.
A change in Los Angeles County elected leadership last year paved the way for the end of a controversial collaboration between sheriff's deputies and federal immigration officials in the county jails.
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The story of one family's struggles with the fragmented and often impenetrable California mental health system, and its tragic ending.
Cynthia Hernandez was thinking about the missing dog when she awoke early that September morning in her family's two-story tract home, tucked away in a residential enclave north of a busy commercial corridor in Chino.
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Yes, though deinstitutionalization was well underway by the late 70s.  I worked in a small locked facility (technically a specialized skilled nursing facility) where most of the patients were under family or court-appointed conservatorship , and I'd agree that it has generally gotten harder to get to the conservatorship step (not necessarily called that in other states, but the same idea).  The civil liberties issues are real, of course, but sadly the individual experiencing untreated psychosis is not particularly "free" either.
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ICYMI: My story over the weekend about the conditions in the county animal shelters and the larger debate over animal welfare policy.
The stocky Chihuahua mix strained at his collar, unhinged by the cacophony of yelps coming from the Downey animal shelter's kennels. The young man at the other end of the leash was equally unsettled. Clearly he had misgivings about leaving Charlie in this shabby place, where his pet would have about a 1 in 3 chance of getting out alive.
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Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to set up a civilian oversight commission to oversee the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, marking a major milestone for the troubled law enforcement agency.
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Abby Sewell

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A lot of times when I write about mental health care, it's about systems that are broken. Here's a story about a hopeful development, for a change.
At the psychiatric urgent care center in Boyle Heights, a young woman wearing a nightgown knelt in a corner, praying in Spanish.
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My story in today's LAT on the bottlenecks in emergency psychiatric care that leave patients and the cops who transport them waiting -- and waiting -- and waiting outside of county hospitals' psychiatric wards.
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Los Angeles County supervisors will likely vote today to approve a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations that the sheriff's department targeted minorities -- and particularly those in the Section 8 housing program -- in the Antelope Valley.
Los Angeles County supervisors are expected to vote Tuesday on a settlement ; with the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations that sheriff’s officials systematically targeted racial minorities in the Antelope Valley.
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Criminal defendants who have been found incompetent to stand trial because of mental illness or developmental disabilities often face lengthy waits in county jails before they are sent to state hospitals for treatment. State and county officials, attorneys, advocates and mental health professionals agree that the persistent backlog is a problem, but haven't been able to agree on a solution.
In January 2014, Edward Lamont Mason allegedly attacked and injured a woman with a baseball bat.
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Audit confirms cheating on L.A. County firefighter hiring exams.
An audit probing allegations of cheating in the Los Angeles County Fire Department's hiring process found that high-ranking officials improperly shared job interview questions and answers that were supposed to be confidential.
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In a slight departure from my normal local government beat, I wrote this piece in today's L.A. Times about Jisr az-Zarqa, the last Arab village remaining on the coast of Israel.
The freeway that hugs Israel's Mediterranean coast doesn't have an entrance or exit for Jisr az-Zarqa. To reach the Arab village, people use a one-lane tunnel that passes under the highway.
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Have her in circles
708 people
Andrew Blankstein's profile photo
Matt Mansfield's profile photo
Karim Al Naeb's profile photo
‫امل قدرى‬‎'s profile photo
Andrea Chang's profile photo
Mike Sevtlana's profile photo
Gilmar Ribe's profile photo
Best Pranks's profile photo
David Woodland's profile photo
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I'm a metro reporter with the Los Angeles Times, covering regional government and whatever else seems interesting. 
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