Why Adams must build a new psych hospital for the mentally-ill homeless on Rikers

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

crime, homeless, mental health, rikers

Mayor Eric Adams should utilize space freed up on Rikers Island to create an inpatient psychiatric hospital to treat the city’s mentally ill homeless. Getty Images

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Two urgent issues facing Mayor Adams at first seem unrelated. But the violence and degradation of the Rikers Island jail and the wave of mentally ill street homeless harming the innocent can and should be linked.

Whether the Rikers jail is replaced by lockups elsewhere, or simply by new structures on the island, it’ll leave ample room for other buildings. And as the mentally ill shove subway riders on to the tracks, the need is obvious for a new city inpatient psychiatric hospital — a modern facility to make up for the tens of thousands of treatment beds lost since the 1950s in the misguided deinstitutionalization movement.

Global Tech News Daily

Untreated mentally ill New Yorkers who believe they are God (as did the man accused of murdering NYPD Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora) have far fewer treatment options than they once did — and we have fewer ways to make sure they receive treatment.

The mayor himself rightly drew the connection in the new anti-crime plan he announced this month: “We need a humane and legally informed response to people in need who refuse treatment, especially those with a documented history of violence.”

Global Tech News Daily

crime, homeless, mental health, rikers

Mayor Eric Adams has called for a humane way to handle people with a history of violence who refuse treatment.


We’ve known this for a while. As the New York State Nurses Association put it, in a prescient 2019 white paper, “Decades of cuts to mental health services” mean “a greater likelihood that individuals with serious mental illness will have a violent encounter with police.”

The Coalition for the Homeless connects the dots directly to the street homeless: “A large majority of unsheltered homeless New Yorkers are people living with mental illness or other severe health problems.”

This type of homelessness is not just a housing problem. But, just as the troubled homeless plague the subways, so, too, do many wind up behind bars at Rikers. We have no precise count of how many of Riker’s 4,000-plus inmates struggle with mental illness, but the number is substantial.

crime, homeless, mental health, rikers

The New York State Nurses Association has said that cuts to mental health services increase the likelihood of a mentally ill individual having a violent encounter with police.

Getty Images

Rikers’ 400 acres now host eight residential buildings large and small. With the right political will, some of it can be converted to a true psychiatric treatment facility for those whom we now consign to the street, jail or prison.

It’s an obvious place to build back a better inpatient psychiatric treatment center for the city — and any plan to replace the decaying current structures would leave room.

It can be the place to stabilize the troubled, set the stage for court-ordered assisted-outpatient treatment (under Kendra’s Law) and even to provide long-term residential treatment for the most deeply troubled.

crime, homeless, mental health, rikers

Psychiatric hospitals don’t have to be hellholes. In the book “Behind the Door of Delusion” journalist Marie Woodson described one such hospital as a clean place bursting with activity.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

It can, and should, be a place where some of those charged with crimes are diverted, by mental health courts, away from the criminal justice system .

And for others committed involuntarily, on the say so of families or psychiatrists. This is actually legal today for up to 60 days; there simply aren’t enough treatment beds available for such persons.

The plan simply requires us to get past the idea that inpatient, long-term psychiatric hospitals must inevitably be hellholes. That was all too true in the 1960s, after states had reduced funding and the federal Medicaid program excluded large institutions. But in the first half of the 20th century, large institutions were newly-built, designed by prominent architects and built with solid materials. They were much more than holding pens.

In her 1951 book “Behind the Door of Delusion,” Oklahoma journalist Marle Woodson describes one such place not as a sordid warehouse but a place bustling with activity. “A floor gang polished the wood floors, and a crew for making up beds did its work with a neatness which would shame many of the maids in good hotels.”

The scale was enormous. In Ohio, the Lima State Hospital was the world’s largest poured-concrete building (before the Pentagon was built). My own great-uncle, a schizophrenic who suffered from delusions, spent 60 years there posing a threat to no one. Today, he might be among those pushing someone onto the train tracks.

New institutions need not be nearly that large. The old ones housed not only the mentally ill but the elderly poor, the syphilitic and terminally ill.

crime, homeless, mental health, rikers

The Coalition for the Homeless says the majority of those living on the street in NYC have mental health or other health problems.

Paul Martinka

And a new Rikers psychiatric hospital would relieve pressure on the jail system. In 1955, 560,000 patients resided in US state psychiatric facilities, including 55,000 in New York; today the US total is under 50,000. We’ve gone too far in the wrong direction — and we’re paying the price.

Howard Husock is an American Enterprise Institute senior fellow.

News Related


New York Rangers get another comeback win to force Game 7 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH — How many times can the New York Rangers dig themselves into a hole and climb back out? At least one more, as of Friday night. The Blueshirts came ... Read more »

Wilson, balanced Aces cruise to 96-73 victory over Dream

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 15 points, Kelsey Plum had 14 points and 11 assists and the Las Vegas Aces rolled to a 96-73 victory over the ... Read more »

EXPLAINER: Why frustration lingers in Okinawa 50 years later

The Associated PressFILE – U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Mike Anglen of Turner, Ore., center, stands atop a cliff as Sgt. Bryan Wallace of Pikin, Ill., waits for his turn before ... Read more »

Astros beat Nationals 6-1 for 11th straight victory

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to ... Read more »

Kreider scores late, Rangers edge Pens 5-3 to force Game 7

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chris Kreider’s long slap shot bounced over Louis Domingue and into the net with 1:28 left and the New York Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 on ... Read more »

Astros push winning streak to 11, roll past Nationals 6-1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, and Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep to help the Houston Astros extend their winning ... Read more »

Moustakas, Drury power Reds to 8-2 victory over Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mike Moustakas homered twice and Brandon Drury drove in four runs to break out of a slump and lead the resurgent Cincinnati Reds to an 8-2 victory ... Read more »

Peterson's bases-loaded walk lifts Brewers over Marlins 2-1

MIAMI (AP) — Jace Peterson walked against Anthony Bender with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Miami Marlins 2-1 Friday night. After starters ... Read more »

Padres: No cancer found during manager Bob Melvin's prostate surgery

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres say no cancer was found when manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery on Wednesday. Melvin, 60, was recovering at home Friday after ... Read more »

Ogunbowale, Gray help Wings rally past Mystics, 94-86

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arike Ogunbowale scored 27 points, Allisha Gray had 21 and the Dallas Wings overcame a 15-point second-quarter deficit to beat the Washington Mystics 94-86 on Friday night. ... Read more »

Resigning North Dakota senator led lawmakers in travel costs

The Associated PressFILE – North Dakota Sen. Ray Holmberg listens during a joint House and Senate Appropriations Committee meeting at the Capitol in Bismarck, N.D., on Jan. 7, 2009. Holmberg, ... Read more »

Residents in picturesque California county hit with gas prices topping $7 a gallon

A California county known for its spectacular mountains and proximity to Yosemite National Park has been paying the nation’s highest gas prices. Read more »

Boudreau to return as coach of Canucks next season

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Bruce Boudreau will return as coach of the Vancouver Canucks next season after helping to turn the struggling NHL club around as a midyear replacement. ... Read more »

New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern tests positive for COVID

On Location: May 13, 2022 Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for COVID-19 ... Read more »

Today in History for May 14th

Highlights of this day in history: Colonists go ashore in Virginia to set up Jamestown; Lewis and Clark begin to explore Louisiana Territory; Israel founded; Skylab launched; Movie producer George ... Read more »

Twitter CEO expects Elon Musk acquisition to close, addresses spending cuts

Musk is awaiting details supporting calculations that spam, fake accounts represent less than 5% of Twitter's users Read more »

Padres: No cancer found during Bob Melvin's prostate surgery

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres say no cancer was found when manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery on Wednesday. Melvin, 60, was recovering at home Friday after ... Read more »

Renovated NYC museum shows indigenous perspectives

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City recently finished a major renovation of its exhibition on the native peoples of the northwest coast of North America. Curators ... Read more »

Police release 911 calls in Gilgo Beach case

A woman who disappeared in a beach community on New York’s Long Island more than a decade ago, sparking an investigation into a possible serial killer, said “there’s somebody after ... Read more »

Academy Awards set 2023 Oscars for March 12

The Associated PressFILE – Oscar statue on the red carpet at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Next year’s Academy Awards will ... Read more »

Actor Fred Ward, of 'Tremors,' 'The Right Stuff' fame, dies

The Associated PressFILE – Fred Ward, a cast member in “30 Minutes or Less,” poses at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles on Aug. 8, 2011. Ward, a ... Read more »

Judge refuses to drop elections suit against Trump, media

NEW YORK — A Colorado judge on Friday denied motions to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by an election systems worker against former President Donald Trump’s campaign, two of its ... Read more »

Q&A: Becky G unveils every side of herself in latest album

The Associated PressFILE – Becky G appears at the Oscars in Los Angeles on March 27, 2022. Beck G’s latest album is “Esquemas.” (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) NEW YORK ... Read more »

North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19 outbreak

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19 outbreak. Read more »

North Korea confirms 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says 21 people died and 174,440 people were newly found with fever symptoms on Friday alone as the country scrambles to slow the spread ... Read more »

White Sox place Giolito on COVID list, activate Vaughn

The Chicago White Sox placed ace Lucas Giolito on the COVID-19 injured list and activated outfielder Andrew Vaughn following a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday. Giolito began experiencing ... Read more »

Traded back and forth, Ford learns to live out of suitcase

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Ford has learned to travel light — and quickly. Since the start of the season, the 29-year-old first baseman has played for Tacoma, San Francisco ... Read more »

Falcon 9 rocket launches Starlink satellites

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from California on Friday. (May 13) Read more »

Celtics' Robert Williams remains out for Game 6 vs. Bucks

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Boston forward/center Robert Williams missed his third straight game with an injured left knee as the Celtics tried to keep their season alive Friday night in Game ... Read more »

Padres sign Robinson Canó, plan to use him off the bench

ATLANTA (AP) — The San Diego Padres have signed veteran second baseman Robinson Canó to a major league contract and plan to use him as a left-handed bat off the ... Read more »

WNBA star's Russia detention extended by 1 month

The lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner says her pre-trial detention in Russia has been extended by one month. Alexander Boykov told The Associated Press the relatively short extension indicated ... Read more »

Louisiana justices toss COVID-related charges against pastor

Hundreds of thousands of Americans fighting long-haul symptoms from COVID-19 Dr. David Putrino from Mount Sinai Health System and COVID long-hauler Joel Fram discuss the long-term effects of the disease.The ... Read more »

Sandy Hook lawsuits against Alex Jones on track to resume

The Associated PressFILE – This Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, photo shows radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones at Capitol Hill in Washington. The Sandy Hook families’ lawsuits against ... Read more »

Rockies' Bryant closer to return after cortisone shot

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant took swings in the cage Friday for the first time since he was sidelined with a sore back nearly three weeks ago ... Read more »

Mariners demote Jarred Kelenic to minors after poor start

NEW YORK (AP) — Rather than make his Citi Field debut against the team that traded him, Jarred Kelenic was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma by the Seattle Mariners on Friday ... Read more »

Biden: ASEAN partnership 'critical' in this moment

Looking to strengthen ties, President Joe Biden welcomes leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to Washington for the first time. “We’re launching a new era in U.S.-ASEAN relations,” ... Read more »

Phil Mickelson will not defend his title at next week's PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson caught lightning in a bottle last year at Kiawah Island, winning a major championship at 50 years of age. The fairways flooded, and the golf world stood and ... Read more »

Tennessee Titans' Malik Willis on Ryan Tannehill's mentorship comments: 'Everything is cool'

The Tennessee Titans didn’t take issue with Ryan Tannehill’s comments about mentoring third-round rookie Malik Willis. Willis and coach Mike Vrabel were asked about Tannehill’s scrutinized remarks following the first ... Read more »

Lawyers plan suit against Lufthansa over Jewish passengers

Lawyers for 26 passengers said Friday they told Lufthansa that they will sue the German airline for refusing to let members of a large group of Orthodox Jewish passengers board ... Read more »

Wild face offseason after yet another early ouster

While the Minnesota Wild were stacking up franchise records and securing the extra home game for the first round, general manager Bill Guerin carefully acknowledged a “great year” for the ... Read more »