FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/29/2022
CONTACT: Astrid Aune, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York City, NY - State Senator Jessica Ramos and Assembly Member Phara Souffrant Forrest issued the following joint statement in response to Mayor Eric Adams’ address on the mental health crisis in New York City:
“We are relieved to see the focus of our shared desire to address very real concerns around public safety turn to mental health. As the lead sponsors of the Treatment Not Jail Act (S2881B/A8524), we know from the experts - clinicians, district attorneys, public defenders, and social workers - that there are proven tools we can implement to address the underlying mental health crises that cycle New Yorkers through our jail system. We re concerned, however, that Mayor Adams’ proposal relies on very forceful, involuntary interventions that will inevitably lead to unnecessary escalation and more entanglement in the criminal legal system. Indeed, the unfortunate reality is that law-enforcement-driven responses end in arrests, not hospitalizations or treatment. This is not an effective public safety policy - it makes our communities even less safe, it does not curb recidivism, and it does not get to the root of the issue. Without a focus on access to ongoing treatment, this proposal will set people up to fail.
The Treatment Not Jail Act replicates the success of the mental health court model employed in Kings County and equips courts across the state to divert people experiencing mental health or substance use crises into treatment, rather than exacerbating the issue in our jail system. In Brooklyn alone, data shows a 46% reduction in the likelihood of re-arrest. We intend to pursue passage of this legislation in the upcoming session and hope we can count on the Mayor’s support.”