CPR Spokesperson Ileana Méndez-Peñate (she/her) issued the following statement regarding the reported increase in arrests of people with a history of mental health problems:
“The rise in arrests of New Yorkers with a history of documented mental health issues is just the latest example of how Mayor Adams chooses to criminalize people with a mental health history instead of investing in mental health services and supports that can help individuals and communities.
“Our city’s mental health system is failing too many of us and we cannot rely on police to get us out of this crisis. We need to ensure that every New Yorker struggling with mental health has the appropriate care, services and support that they need. The pandemic has revealed the fragility of our safety net, especially for people struggling with serious mental health issues.
“Increasing policing and criminalization is not the answer; getting arrested and incarcerated only makes recovery more difficult. Instead, New York City needs culturally competent, accessible community-based mental health services.”
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.