Mental Health Experts Assail John Cox’s Plan to ‘Force’ Homeless Into ‘Treatment’


From Newsweek: “Republican John Cox said Monday he intends to ‘force’ homeless individuals to get mental health treatment by using ‘the power of the courts’ if his bid to become California’s next governor is successful.

Legal experts on homelessness and mental health said Cox’s comments ‘distract from the real issues’ that cause homelessness while the proposal he unveiled to combat the issue in California presents other legal and financial problems.

‘This is essentially criminalization under the guise of providing compassionate services,’ said attorney Ron Hochbaum, a professor at the University of the Pacific’s Homeless Advocacy Clinic. ‘It’s important to acknowledge that it would never work.'”

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  1. A man with my last name has made a serious error!

    My understanding is that the mental health system tends to cause homelessness by rendering people less able to take care of themselves as they grow up (or after they start on drugs). Thus, one major target in the struggle to reduce homelessness should be the mental health system!

    If you want to make homelessness illegal, that would force the homeless into the prison system. But it violates basic human rights to force people into the mental health system. We all know this. In addition, many people in the prison system need help with their mental health as well, but the current system cannot provide this help, as it is not really designed to help anyone, but only punish them. Both systems function for similar purposes, but it is, perhaps, easier to get someone committed then it is to get them arrested, tried and convicted.

  2. This is an effort that fits into GOP social ideology. Remember that we’re dealing with a political party that advocates the Giant Firefight as an “anti-crime” measure in which so many people are armed that the most trivial disruption of the Urban Force will arouse the Armed Multitudes into blasting furiously away- unaware that “spray and pray” shooting is not a good notion to foster in crowded urban settings.

      • Gotta agree with you there.

        The Clinton administration oversaw the biggest increase in US imprisonment rates in my lifetime. As Californian AG Kamala Harris implemented ‘three strikes’ laws that sent the imprisonment rates there through the roof then blocked several Supreme Court initiatives that would have reduced it. And even if Joe Biden starts honouring his election promise to reduce US imprisonment he’s unlikely to fully reverse the damage his own mass incarceration initiatives of the 80s and 90s caused.

        Locking people up for a long time for minor offences has a long history of bipartisan support in the US. Especially if they’re not white.

        • I, too, am aware that the GOP isn’t filled with geeks. Unfortunately, the geeks seem to have taken over Party ideology, so that anyone who disagrees with them is automatically a dangerous traitor and agent of the Deep State, a Socialist infiltrator trying to destroy Party unity, and national ideology and social cohesion as well.


            I enjoy the exchange of views, and I do think political parties have some bearing on decisions to enforce “treatment” on people just because they happen to be homeless. I do want to make sure this doesn’t shift off onto a philosophical argument about which political party is “better.” Let’s keep focused on the issue of the article, planning to “force homeless into ‘treatment.'”

    • If you’re talking enthusiasm for killing rather than just drugging and imprisoning I’d say the Republicans have the edge when it comes to judicial executions and citizens shooting each other, it’s pretty much neck and neck with regard to police killings and the Dems pull ahead again in the bombing foreigners department.

      But the distinction is pretty moot to us non-Americans. From here you all look like cold eyed killers, regardless of ethnicity, religion or political leanings.

  3. ‘This is essentially criminalization under the guise of providing compassionate services,’

    ALL of psychiatry is criminalization, disguised as something medical. If it was not, you would not be interrogated, assigned a label and number and have it held against you by actual health and legal services. You get convicted without being a criminal.

    Thank god for most people that a hundred or less years is all they need to serve, whether being in power or being completely overruled.