Queens councilman introduces bills on crime, mental illness

Councilman Robert Holden (Photo by William Alatriste/NYC.gov)

Queens Councilman Robert Holden introduced two bills at Thursday’s New York City Council Stated Meeting. These bills address crime and mental illness in New York City.

The first bill, known as Intro 793, addresses mental health. It requires the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to report how often city agencies and hospitals submit referrals for people to the Assisted Outpatient Treatment program. Additionally, it would require the number of petitions filed for Assisted Outpatient Treatment referrals and the resulting court orders to be reported by the city.

The second bill that Holden introduced is meant to address crime in the city. Known as Resolution 366, it calls for New York State Assembly Bill A1705 and New York State Senate Bill S1521 to both be passed by the New York state Legislature and signed into law by the governor.

According to Holden, these bills would amend the New York State Criminal Procedure Law in relation to setting bail for defendants who would pose a public safety risk.

A1705 was introduced by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, while S1521 was introduced by Senator James Tedisco. Both bills were introduced during the 2021-22 legislative session.

The purpose of A1705 and S1521 is to allow judges to have more discretion in setting a securing order with regards to the defendant’s prior felony convictions, failure to appear in court or subsequent arrests while they are awaiting trial.

“Our streets and subways are dangerous, with a surge of unprovoked attacks and murders of residents and visitors,” Holden said. “Government must utilize Kendra’s Law, repeal bail reform to get career criminals off the streets and make all New Yorkers safer.”

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