Pass the Restoring Mental Health Act — now

New York City Mayor Eric Adams

New York City Mayor Eric Adams wants the Legislature to pass the Restoring Mental Health Act before it skips town next month. Andrew Schwartz / SplashNews.com

Mayor Adams, pushing to address the city’s crisis of disturbed people roaming the streets and subways, wants the Legislature to pass the Restoring Mental Health Act before it skips town early next month — but Albany doesn’t seem to care.

The bill would try to end the “EDP revolving door,” wherein Emotionally Disturbed Persons get committed for treatment after some incident — then handed a few bills and rapidly released — by clarifying the standards that allow for prolonged involuntary in-patient care.

Current law, at least as applied, produces the likes of “Ice Pick Nick,” a violent mentally ill vagrant who had terrorized the East Village for years before finally being arrested and jailed.

Random attacks by EDPs with long histories of dangerous behavior have made walking Big Apple streets a nightmare:

  • Cyril Destin, a deranged vagrant in Times Square with a long rap sheet, stood up from his walker and stabbed Amber Lohr, a tourist chaperoning a group of children, as she walked by.
  • Shaquan Cummings, an East Harlem madman — with more than 20 prior arrests — punched a 43-year-old woman before slashing an 11-year-old girl
  • Homeless man Clifton Williams stands accused of randomly, viciously punching actor Steve Buscemi on a Kips Bay street May 8.

Adams and Gov. Hochul need to get the progressives in the Legislature to stop standing in the way of this vital measure: It’s inhumane to let troubled people walk free, exposing themselves and others to mounting risks of serious harm.

While Albany also needs to ensure that inpatient mental-health facilities have the resources to handle these hard cases, passing the Restoring Mental Health Act will go a long way to ending the cycling of mentally ill vagrants in and out of jail and/or Bellevue.

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