Los Angeles County Probation Department Approach to the Mental Health and Homeless Epidemic


Tuesday, February 27, 2024
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Session Type: Workshop

Currently one-third of the men in LA County jail suffer from mental illness: as of June 2020, the jail mental health population was counted at 5,134 (out of an overall jail population of 16,621). Los Angeles County Probation Department, the largest law enforcement agency in the nation, is taking a new approach to servicing the homeless and mental health population. Under the Homeless Initiative and with the support of the Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Probation Department is providing innovative supervision, by utilizing evidence-based practices, harm reduction model, community-based referrals, and intensive case load management. The participates in this workshop will learn how to effectively supervise mental health clients placed on probation, how to recognize various mentally ill behaviors, become aware of various de-escalation techniques, and learn how to collaborate with outside agencies such as, law enforcement, criminal courts, community-based organizations, and mental health agencies in efforts to provided housing, and address criminogenic-needs and resources.


Mr. Earl W Estell
Probation Director, Los Angeles County Probation

Dr. Earl Estell is currently a Probation Director for the Los Angeles County Probation Department Mental Health Homeless Caseload and the Santa Monica Area Office. He graduated May 2021, with a Doctor of Management Degree at the University of Phoenix. He obtained a master’s degree in public administration from the San Bernardino State University, and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at the Long Beach State University. He taught several years for the Los Angeles County Probation Department Staff Training Office, and the University of Phoenix School of Criminal Justice. He has a total of 29 years as an employee of the Los Angeles County Probation Department. He is considered a Master Trainer within the department. He has experience creating lesson plans and developing trainings. He has experience in court report writing, case management, supervision, investigations, case plaining, evidence base practices, motivating Interviewing, core correctional practices, courage to change, LS/CMI assessments, and probation ethics. He supervised both juvenile and adult caseloads. As an adult supervision officer, he supervised child threat caseload, sex offender caseload, and adult investigation. He has experience in running small evidence base groups. He also has experience in the area running Anger Replacement Training groups.

Dep. La-Shia M Ranson
Deputy Probation Officer II, Los Angeles County Probation

La-Shia Ranson has been employed by the Los Angeles County Probation Department since June 9, 2003. She holds a title of Deputy Probation Officer II and presents Los Angeles County Probation Department as the Court Liaison in the Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) Program. She currently encompasses a B.S. degree in Sociology from University of Southern California (USC) and a M.A. degree in Counseling, Marriage, Family and Child Therapy (MFCT) from the University of Phoenix. She is assigned to the Firestone Area Office, Adult Supervision/ Mental Health Housing Caseload. As a Deputy Probation Officer II/ Court Liaison, she works closely with the Office of Diversion and Re-Entry Program and the California Superior Court of California, Los Angeles-Clara Shortridge Court Department 44, housing coordinators, works with the Department of Health Services', the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and other community providers, to address the population of homeless probationers who are diagnosed with mental health issues. Ms. Ranson provides initiative field supervision by working collaboratively with community-based organizations, composing case plans, conducting interviews, orientations, and providing services to assist the probationer in making a productive adjustment back to the community and transitioning into permanent housing.