Crime and Mental Illness in New York City: Community Solutions - hosted by Manhattan Institute

April 07, 2022

In New York City, public concern about untreated serious mental illness continues to run high. Mayor Eric Adams last month launched his "Subway Safety Plan" in an attempt to reduce disorder and violence in the transit system. The rate of mental illness among city jail inmates is as disturbingly high as ever. Several notable tragedies this year have had a connection with mental illness.

The problem is not neglect. During the de Blasio years, policymakers made a priority of addressing the intersection of crime and mental illness. Most major criminal justice reform initiatives had a mental health justification, at least in part, and most major mental health initiatives had a criminal justice justification, at least in part. Crisis response reform, Thrive NYC, bail reform: all were meant to benefit mentally ill offenders. But both mentally ill offenders themselves and the broader public reman poorly served by the system.

This event explores the problem and two important community-based solutions: guardianship and assisted outpatient treatment. Moderator and Ml senior fellow Stephen Eide, whose recently published policy report frames these issues for NYC's new mayor, will speak with two senior practitioners.

Carolyn Reinach Wolf directs the Mental Health Law Practice for Abrams Fensterman, LLP, where she is the country's only attorney with family-focused mental healthcare practice. She recently served as President of the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association and was selected as this year's Lawyer of the Year for Health Care Law.

Brian Stettin is Policy Director for the Treatment Advocacy Center. Previously, as an Assistant New York State Attorney General, he was instrumental in conceiving and drafting "Kendra's Law," and later served as special counsel to the New York State Commissioner of Criminal Justice Services and counsel to the Health Committee of the New York Assembly.


Stephen Eide, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute, author of "Crime and Mental Illness in New York City: Framing the Challenge for the New Mayor"


Carolyn Reinach Wolf, Executive Partner, Director of Mental Health Law Practice, Abrams Fensterman, LLP

Brian Stettin, Policy Director, Treatment Advocacy Center

Click here for the program