Mental-health Court Opens in New York City

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From New York Able Newspaper May 2011:

Manhattan’s first Mental Health Court, which recently opened at 100 Centre Street, is dedicated to keeping defendants with mental illness from engaging in further criminal behavior.

This special court will handle nonviolent cases of defendants with serious and continuing mental illness. It is part of the New York State Supreme Court. Cases will be referred by different sources such as judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, the Department of Probation, mental-health personnel within the Department of Corrections, mental-health agencies and law-enforcement agencies.

“The designation of a Mental Health Court in Manhattan will address the complex criminal-justice challenges presented by defendants with serious mental illnesses and will promote greater safety for New Yorkers and greater fairness for the mentally ill,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. “The goal of the Mental Health Court is to address directly underlying illnesses that caused or contributed to these arrests. In appropriate circumstances, eligible defendants will be placed in treatment programs monitored by the court and linked to valuable services and housing providers, reducing the chances of recidivism and increasing safety in New York City.”

Mental Health Court applicants will receive a psychiatric evaluation prior to acceptance in the court….

This is the 26th Mental Health Court in New York State

AMHF applauds the reporting of Able, where our readers can find the balance of this illuminating article, and particularly Cyrus Vance Jr. and other visionaries.

AMHF remains vigilant, committed to the betterment of all citizens, particularly those with serious emotional problems that, through no direct and conscious fault of their own, might lead to violent behavior: either to others or to themselves.

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