Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today highlighted the public safety imperative of connecting New Yorkers struggling with mental illness or substance use to community-based services.
In a Teen Vogue op-ed, D.A. Bragg writes that “New York City has never had an adequate support system for the unhoused and those grappling with mental illness.
In his first year, the D.A. noted how he has “seen from the inside the churn of people going to criminal court, going to jail on Rikers Island, and returning to our neighborhoods in worse shape than before because of yawning gaps in services and support.”
To end that cycle, “we must connect those struggling with community-based services — in a way that honors their dignity and humanity.”
D.A. Bragg highlighted how his new $9 million initiative to address mental health and substance use can help achieve that goal. Through two initiatives, the Office aims to “connect New Yorkers with voluntary, community-based support services, including housing assistance and treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders.”
By doing so, we can “interrupt and prevent persistent recidivism and create lasting improvements in public safety.”