The death of a seriously mentally ill and diabetic inmate who sexually mutilated himself after seven days in a New York City jail cell has been ruled a homicide.
Controversy has erupted in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where a local nonprofit plans to build a facility that will predominantly house people who are mentally ill.
Six ex-cons sued Pataki and other state officials for tens of millions of dollars. The lawsuit accuses the state of abusing its authority eight years ago by transferring the plaintiffs to psychiatric facilities at the end of their prison terms – in effect, summarily extending their sentences without recourse.
Citing statistics showing that people with mental health problems tend to spend extended time behind bars for lack of bail money, officials said they aimed to do better at assessing defendants’ psychiatric needs and meeting them in the least restrictive setting that’s appropriate.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said on Sunday that lawmakers should examine gun control and the handling of the mentally ill in the wake of last weekend’s shootings in Tucson.