Lives in the Balance If Kendra's Law Lapses
In yet another game of chicken, the Legislature could finish up this week without renewing Kendra’s Law — and so needlessly put the public at risk.
Letting the law expire would allow as many as 3,000 seriously mentally ill New Yorkers in mandated treatment to go off the meds that keep them functioning normally.
Passed in 1999 after a schizophrenic off his meds pushed Kendra Webdale to her death in front of an N train, the law lets courts compel outpatient treatment for those whose mental illness poses a public threat.
Some lawmakers feared officials might abuse that power, so the law sunsets periodically. But Kendra’s Law has worked well for nearly two decades, helping people whose illness would otherwise lead to violence, incarceration and/or homelessness.
Written by the New York Post Editorial Board
This piece originally appeared in New York Post