Adams renews calls for Albany to address recidivism and mental health
Adams renews calls for Albany to address recidivism and mental health


Mayor Eric Adams renewed calls Tuesday for Albany to crack down on rampant recidivism following two horrific acts of violence that left an NYPD officer and an innocent subway passenger dead.

The Adams administration has singled out the state’s revolving criminal justice system as one of the main unresolved issues — along with mental health — driving the Big Apple’s crime wave and sporadic incidents of violence.

“What’s interesting is that our practices, laws and policies are not pursuing these issues,” Hitsoner said during a sobering conference call from the town hall.

Adams pointed to Monday night’s bloodshed as a clear example of those problems coming to a head — with the shooting of 31-year-old police officer Jonathan Diller, allegedly by a career criminal in Queens, and a reckless man accused of running down a 54 -year-old man until his death in an East Harlem subway station.

Mayor Eric Adams renewed his call for changes to state law Tuesday. Stephen Yang

“We’ve always had a problem with recidivism, it’s always been a problem, but we’ve never really focused on it on a case-by-case basis,” Adams told reporters.

The state needs “a real analysis of what’s fueling recidivism,” he said, noting, “It’s not a single-item problem.”

The Adams administration has long lobbied the Legislature — unsuccessfully — to reform discovery laws, which critics say often lead overstretched prosecutors to be forced to drop cases.

The mayor’s office is also calling for an amendment to Kendra’s Law — which can provide court-ordered treatment for people with mental health problems — to allow more hospitalization for the mentally ill.

Renewing his plea for change, Adams called the current laws “out of alignment.”

New York City police officer Jonathan Diller was fatally shot Monday night, allegedly by a career criminal. Kevin S. Downs for the NY Post
A little more than an hour after the fatal police shooting, a rampaging man was accused of bludgeoning a man to death. William Farrington

There is little movement for change on such issues in Albany as lawmakers work to forge a budget deal before a looming April 1 deadline.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has pushed for increased penalties for criminals who repeatedly attack retail workers, but Assembly Speaker Carl Hastie rejected that idea Tuesday.

“A 31-year-old NYPD officer lost his life, his wife lost her husband, and their newborn child, less than a year old, lost his father. All because the Legislature has refused and continues to refuse to respond and act by changing these laws to keep criminals in prison,” said Rep. Michael Durso (R-Nassau).

“This is enough. New York needs to wake up,” added Durso, who represents the district where Diller lived with his wife and 1-year-old son.

“Blood is on the legislator’s hands.”

City Councilwoman Diana Ayala (D-East Harlem/Bronx) echoed some of the mayor’s sentiments, but also called for a hearing to make sure the Big Apple is as aggressive as possible with the laws already in place when it comes to help those suffering from mental problems.

“It’s a combination of a lot of systems failing at the same time,” said Ayala, chairman of the council’s General Welfare Committee, which oversees the homeless services department, and former head of the mental health committee.

“This is something I had trouble getting people to sit on the table about when I was chairman of the mental health committee,” added Ayala, who represents the district where the fatal subway crash occurred. “Everybody thinks we have laws and we’ve taken care of them – and have we?”

Additional reporting by Vaughn Golden

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