Where is the State Legislation at Center of Mayor Adams’ Jordan Neely Response?

by Ethan Geringer-Sameth

On May 10, Mayor Eric Adams made his first extended remarks on the death of Jordan Neely, a Black homeless man with a history of mental illness who was killed on the subway ten days earlier by Daniel Penny, a white Marine veteran.

"We are urging our partners in Albany to act on the legislative agenda that I first announced in November, which we have now put forward as a bill entitled the Supportive Interventions Act," Adams said in the May 10 live-streamed address that was closed to the press.

similar bill, introduced by Braunstein and State Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton earlier this year, The New York State Mental Health Reform Act, would do some of what the mayor is seeking, including changes that would make it easier for hospitals to admit and hold psychiatric patients. That legislation was previously championed by former State Senator Diane Savino – a Staten Island Democrat who is now a senior advisor to Adams – but never passed. Brian Stettin, who helped draft the bill as a policy director for Treatment Advocacy Center, a national nonprofit focused on expanding court-ordered treatment laws, is now Adams' Senior Advisor for Severe Mental Illness.

“This legislation is going to change the way we approach mental health intervention here in New York State,” Scarcella-Spanton said in a statement. “By establishing court-ordered in-patient medical treatment, we will be breaking down the barriers that hinder access to care for individuals with severe mental illness. It aims to create better opportunities for successful mental health intervention and lower the chances of extreme outcomes for those seeking out help during a crisis.”

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