December 7, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Beyond the Index: Hacking Trust

By Zoë Muntaner

 

A panel of five judges including Santa Monica Chief of Civic Wellbeing Julie Rusk and Chief Information Officer Joseph Cevetello deliberated with three other judges to make Project Minder the winning technology for the second annual Hack the Beach.

The contest is a collaboration between City of Santa Monica, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, and several tech-sector partners. It’s geared to create an environment of learning, sharing, and problem-solving; an opportunity to get in on the ground floor and contribute solutions that have a real impact on the world around us. The finalists included:

 

  • The Burg
  • Choose Views
  • GozAround
  • Painted Brain’s WordPress Workshop
  • PlayDate
  • Proficia’s React Native Apprenticeship
  • ProjectMinder
  • SaMo’s 1st Data Management Platform
  • Street Quality Identification (SQUID)

 

The winner, Project Minder, comes from the Restorative Justice Fund. The Restorative Justice Fund is a justice reform incubator based in Los Angeles. They focus on bringing restorative programs to scale that make our criminal justice system more effective, cost-efficient, and equitable. Project Minder seeks to leverage technology to help first responders direct people in crisis to treatment instead of jail. Native Santa Monican Peter Borenstein pitched his initiative it as the “Airbnb for mental health patients”. The technology aims to improve the 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold process by locating emergency accommodation for patients in need.

5150 is a section of the California Welfare and Institutions Code. It enables a qualified officer or clinician to involuntary confine a person suspected to have a mental disorder that makes them a danger to themselves, a danger to others, or gravely disabled.

Project Minder is focused on providing alternatives to government institutions for those placed on a 5150 hold.

The project comes on the back of a growing list of deaths of mentally ill people in jail cells.

In October this year daughters of a mentally ill man who jumped to his death in a Los Angeles jail were awarded $1.7 million in a settlement approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

In the Spring of 2016, family and friends of 36-year-old Wakiesha Wilson demanded answers outside the Los Angeles Police Department’s Metropolitan Detention Center after she was found dead in her jail cell. Wilson was bi polar and had a 13-year-old son.

Santa Monica City agreed in April this year to pay a settlement of $212,500 to a victim of alleged excessive force by jailers in 2014. In an email to activist Sherry Martini, City Manager Rick Cole wrote: “Our jail is a state of the art facility closely monitored by our own law enforcement management and overseen by the State of California. We work hard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to protect the lives and civil rights of those detained there. No facility run by people will ever be perfect and we welcome suggestions for improvement and feedback on shortcomings.”

Perhaps Project Minder could have helped in some of these incidents.

Resident and member of the Coalition for Police Reform in Santa Monica, Marcy Winograd penned a letter to City Council: “I was taken aback to see that an estimated 90 percent of the calls to which we responded during my ride along with a hard-working SMPD officer involved the mentally ill – people wandering down the street talking to themselves or screaming at baristas at local coffee shops. The officer distributed a card with various resources for the homeless. This was a step in the right direction, though I would like to see our City offer more support both to the officers and to those in psychological distress.”

The correctional system has become the primary vehicle for mental health treatment as state mental hospitals and inpatient treatment options dramatically have decreased. The top three most populous mental health institutions in the United States are jails – New York’s Riker’s Island; Chicago, Illinois’ Cook County Jail; and the Los Angeles County, California, Jail.

One option to change the status quo is through innovations such as Project Minder and the fostering of trust in our authorities.

As we celebrate the holidays and prepare New Year’s resolutions, it would be proper that City Staff and Council consider the building of trust as a priority. It is a development worth supporting: the bedrock of authentic wellbeing.

There ain’t no app for that.

For more on Project Minder go to: rjfund.org/minder.

Los Angels’ Men’s Central Jail is the largest mental health facility in the US.
Photo: Project Minder
Related Posts

Activists Respond to Potential Tree Removal at Palisades Recreation Center.

December 7, 2021

December 7, 2021

Resilient Palisades president comments on the potential removal of two mature eucalyptus trees from the Palisades Recreation Center. Video brought...

LA City Clerk Confirms Bonin Recall Petition Headed to Verification Stage

December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

City Clerk has until January 2, 2022 to verify signatures  By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles City Clerk has confirmed...

Santa Monica Rents Dip For The First Time This Year: Santa Monica Beat – December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Mount Olive Church Pastor Retires* Santa Monica Rents Dip For The First...

Social Media Threats to Two Santa Monica High Schools Deemed Unfounded

December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

SMPD has increased patrols “out of an abundance of caution” By Sam Catanzaro Officials say Santa Monica High School and...

Holiday Festivities at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

December 4, 2021

December 4, 2021

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel brings the magic of the season to life with festivities for the entire family, from...

SMC’s “Broken Layers” Wins Best Student Film at The Emerging Filmmaker Showcase During the 2021 Cannes Film Festival

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

“Broken Layers”—a short film written and directed by Santa Monica College (SMC) film student Niccolo Rolim—has won “Best Student Film”...

Developer Donates $1 Million to Support Housing Development at the West Los Angeles VA Campus

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

Pledge includes a $500,000 monetary donation and $500,000 in pro bono work By Staff Writer Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc. has...

Santa Monica Police Make Narcotics and Weapons Arrest Following Collision

December 2, 2021

December 2, 2021

One suspect remains at large following November 28 incident By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police recently arrested a man on...

Private Santa Monica Security Guard Thwarts Potential Flash Mob Robbery

December 2, 2021

December 2, 2021

SMPD on the alert after flash mob robberies hit Los Angeles By Dolores Quintana In response to the so called...

Pico Branch Library Reopens Today

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

Library reopens for in-person services and more By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Public Library’s Pico Branch reopens today for...

Two Santa Monica Public Gigs for Local Group the Off Jingle Bell Rockers

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

December 4 and 12 Santa Monica concerts By Staff Writer Local group…the Off Jingle Bell Rockers will be performing once...

Santa Monica City Councilmember’s Music Store Robbed for the Second Time This Year

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

September and November robberies at Santa Monica Music Center By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica City Councilmember Laura Negrete is co-owner...

Santa Monica to Become Part of New LA County Supervisorial District

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

LA County Redistricting to be handled by independent commission By Dolores Quintana The City of Santa Monica will become part...

Return Of International Travel Could Boost Local Economy: Santa Monica Beat – November 30, 2021

November 29, 2021

November 29, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Calvary Church Nativity Scene Returns For The Holidays* Return Of International Travel...