Monday, December 22, 2014

Re: NYPD Shootings: Cuomo Should Sign "Prisoner Mental Health Discharge Bill" Today

Even after mentally ill ex-prisoner Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot New York Police Department officers Liu Wenjin and Raphael Ramosa, New York State Governor Cuomo is refusing to sign a bill (S7818) that passed both houses and is on his desk right now. 

The “Prisoners Mental Health Discharge Planning Bill”  would require prison officials to make sure prisoners with mental illness who are being released are 
  • given a discharge plan, 
  • an appointment with a community program, 
  • and enough medications to last until the appointment. 
  • It also adds parole officials to the list of people who can refer someone with a mental illness to a hospital for evaluation. 
Ismaaiyl Brinsley was reported by his mom to be mentally ill, and reported to have been previously institutionalized and incarcerated. While Brinsley was not released from a New York prison, this bill would help improve care and prevent violence by those with mental illness who are. Cuomo should sign it today. 

NYS Association of Chiefs of Police 
National Alliance on Mental Illness of NYS  

Senator Catharine Young (Senator representing Kendra Webdale’s parents district in Buffalo)  
Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell (NYC)  

We also note that Mayor DeBlasio's Task Force on Mentally Ill at Riker's failed to include expansion of Kendra's Law in their recommendations. Kendra's Law reduces homelessness, arrest, violence and incarceration by the mentally ill prisoners who are enrolled by keeping them in mandated and monitored community treatment.

In both Albany and NY officials are ignoring the most seriously ill. 

Finally, we thank Rep. Tim Murphy (R.PA) for introducing HR 3717, The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act which addresses serious mental illness rather than ignoring it.

(This was written quickly. Sorry for any typos). 

Visit for science based info on serious mental illness intersecting with violence.