February 19th, 2013
04:29 PM ET

Sweeping violent mentally ill off NYC streets

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @SKastenbaumCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – A recent rash of people being pushed to their deaths on the tracks in New York City’s subway system has city officials pushing to get potentially dangerous mentally ill people off the streets.

The city’s health department gave police a list of 25 people who are not complying with court ordered treatments and pose a danger to themselves or others.

[2:35] “They’re individuals who don’t recognize the extent of their illness or the need for the treatment that has already been prescribed for them, being medication or whatever.” said Don Capone, executive director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in New York.

Generally, he says people like this haven’t been taking prescribed drugs or they've stopped showing up for appointments with counselors and therapists.

[2:52] “It’s important to note, however, that most mentally ill people are not dangerous. There was a study done by the United States Surgeon General that indicated the overall contribution of mental illness to violence in our country is exceptionally small.”

Capone is concerned that the mentally ill are being stigmatized when most pose no threat to anyone.

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Filed under: Behavior • Crime • Health • Soundwaves • Stories
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. xfiler93

    I sure hope the mentally ill has any foam cups bigger then 16 oz on them!!!

    March 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. outsider peering in

    Define mentally ill:

    The person whose medication is indicative of what is prescribed as bipolar, schizophrenic, borderline personality disorder, sociopath, psychopath, etc.


    The ceo who just lost his job and is sitting in his car pondering whether to take his own life, the life of his family members to quell their future loss of luxury, or destroying his workplace who found his harvard degree subpar...

    I think the latter is more of a concern as far as people getting knocked off subways...

    February 28, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cp

      Thats true but how do you track that?

      March 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. veteranleo

    A list of 25 people is "sweeping" them off the streets? I live in a medium mid-western town, we did the same thing and our list had about 100 we were keeping an eye on. Headline makes me think they were doing a roundup of crazies.

    February 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jose

    maybe we should create and sustain like a "hospice" system for the mentally ill.
    we could offer home services such as nursing and nursing assistants, social workers, access to doctors,
    etc. everything offered to our elderly and geriatric citizens under medicare & medicaid.
    yeah, hospice care and attention for our mentally ill.
    what do you all say?

    February 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rudolf vs

    Hmm... I guess a few mentally ill cops disappeared from the streets as well.

    February 26, 2013 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Michael Andrew Ruzicho

    I agree we do need the mentally ill who committ crimes off the street. They are a risk to the community and our children.

    February 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      The "mentally ill" can not commit crimes. Their defense is that they are mentally ill. Please think before posting.

      February 25, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Brian C

        Actually, Dude, his statement is easier to understand than yours. I've read yours twice and I still can't see exactly what you're trying to say.

        February 26, 2013 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jorge

    I don't care, somebody follows me around insistently to stand behind me at a subway station, I will slapjack him on the side of the head so hard that he will be dreaming of bullet trains from Mars until the parameds put him on oxygen.

    February 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      Interesting. And what is your response when they walk behind you as if to pass you on the way to somewhere else, and then shove you when you aren't looking?

      February 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Beefburger


    February 22, 2013 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. joebob

    AND DO WHAT – THROW THEM IN JAIL – They need to be turned over to state health care people.

    February 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim P.

    I thought the headline meant the Mayor had gotten loose again.

    February 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ray

    Thank king Ronald Regan for throwing all the mentally ill out into the streets back in the 80's, and closing many many MH institutuins. That was the start of the joke of mental health treatment in this country. Another great Repugnican move.

    February 21, 2013 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Network

      Spoken like a true dumb-o-crat. Reagan put this country back on track after that dumb-o-crat peanut farmer messed everything up

      February 21, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • rasselfrat

        Reagan also closed all the veteran homes putting thousands of vournable vets on the streets. I know how much the GOP "loves" the troops.

        February 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • John Carr

        Please Mr NETWORK get your facts straight before you start bashing President Carter.
        President Carter did nothing to hurt, nor help this country in any manner. He submitted no laws to change anything ,and he only signed bills passed by the republican congress of his time. So get it right he did nothing while he was in office !!!

        February 25, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Frank Mondana

    The irony here is that many of the living brain donors spewing out 1/2 witted calls to kill the crazys actually meet their own definitions of lunatic.
    They do meet my definition of slow-witted, knuckledragging apes who finally gave up after 5 years of high school and married their sisters. This lets them live off the government because their kids are conjoined triplets with 9 arms, 1leg, and a combined I.Q. of 12 (6 points more than Daddy).
    At least they qualify as leaders of the Tea Party and perfect GOP nominees for POTUS next time around.

    February 21, 2013 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • biggerdawg

      It must be lonely on loon mountain, you better get back while you can, thanks for proving what we already know.

      February 21, 2013 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Hugh Mann

    read the Minority Report,,,this is Pre-Crime Policing without the Precogs

    February 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rediranch

    "There was a study done by the United States Surgeon General that indicated the overall contribution of mental illness to violence in our country is exceptionally small"

    That is until they buy a gun.

    Oh wait, it's not people who are to blame when someone dies from a bullet, it's the guns fault. Almost forgot there.

    February 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • RickFromTexas

      You just don't get it, do you?

      It's two problems combined together, gun violence and mental illness, we have to deal with both of them!

      Anything less is quite simply foolish.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • BoThome

        I thought the two problems were gang violence and mental illness?

        According to law enforcement, 75% of all gun violence is directly tied to gang activity. Almost all of the recent mass shootings have indicated people with mental illness. Take those things away, and the "gun issue" is mute.

        Even with all the shootings being reported on daily (we've always had them, they are just news because of the gun debate now), we are still at some of the lowest rates of gun-related deaths/murders than we ever were during the 1994 to 2004 assault weapon ban. Back during that 10 year span, we had at least 19,000 people a year murdered by guns (about 1600 a month, 53 a day).

        The 8+ years since the ban expired (more types of guns and hi-cap mags available to all) gun violence has DECREASED significantly, to only an average of 12,000 murders by gun a year from 2005 to today, with 2011 having only 8,600 gun-related murders. So the latest 2011 data says we're only losing 716 people a month, 24 people a day to gun violence, that's a lot less than what we had during the 10 years that "assault weapon" ban was in place. Yet, now we are once again looking to ban certain types of guns and go back to higher gun violence that we had 20 years ago?

        February 21, 2013 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
        • jake1969

          I'm more concerned about the violent mentally ill than gangs since there is a much more random nature to attacks by psycho shooters. Of course, if US gangs start acting like Mexican gangs, that changes. But, I basically agree with you, we can reduce violence much more effectively by being aggressive against gangs and doing a better job of monitoring the mentally ill - and rethinking all the "deinstitutionalization" of the '80s - than through gun bans. I do though think there should be higher requirements and more intensive background checks for the purchase of assault weapons, but not all out bans.

          February 21, 2013 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Paulwisc

      Binary thinking. Pro-gun people think so simplistically.

      February 21, 2013 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
      • biggerdawg

        And anti gun fools don't think at all.

        February 21, 2013 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Seyedibar

    Or you could, and I know this sounds farfetched but bear with me... put up guard rails?

    February 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Ride the NYC subways, especially during rush hour times, and THEN get back to us with how quick things move and how much of a detriment with movement the rails would be.

      February 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Carr

      That would be too simple to put up gaurd rails that pop up from the ground as the train leaves the station, but then drop back down once the train has come to a stop. Whythose New Yorers would be pissing their pants if they couldn't squeeze some chicks ass as thye push their way onto the train. You're suggesting something too obvious !! hehe

      February 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Kevin

    Look at the latest searches on file sharing sites, then tell me who's really messed in the head.

    February 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  17. newsurveyresults

    and you study at what gulag?

    February 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  18. newsurveyresults

    when the truly mentally ill are involved in violence is is for the most part not reality based. they may be protecting the world by ridding it of aliens or some such delusional belief.

    February 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stimpy

      And your point would be?

      February 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris Miller

      So the mentally ill are aliens? You're a complete douche bag...

      February 21, 2013 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Sunshine100

      How can you tell the "truly mentally ill" people from just the mentally ill?

      Wrap you tiny brain around the concept that "mental" illnesses are actually biologically based. Chemical imbalances root source for "mentally ill" population and most conditions positively affected by medications and related treatments.

      February 21, 2013 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
      • John Carr

        Please don't forget that there are those who have miswired brain paths that are also mentally ill it's not always chemically based. So what do you do now that meds won't work for the miswired misguided insane ??

        February 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  19. cubicledweller

    The violent mentally ill should be euthanised as they post a threat to society.

    February 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Good luck battling human rights groups with that. We couldn't even get repeat child molesters and sex offenders put to death.

      February 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank Mondana

      Great idea! Once that law gets passed it can then be adjusted later to include other dangerous groups. First we add Muslims, then Democrats, Jews, old people, blondes, anyone with 3 or more parking tickets...
      DAMN DUDE! You've come up with a well thought out solution! One might say you've come up with a final solution!

      Mouth breathers like you would be funny if not for the fact that some low forehead moron just like you gets into power once in a while.

      February 21, 2013 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris Miller

      Have you considered why the mentally ill are violent... Apparently not...Fucking dumbass ignorant american asshole

      February 21, 2013 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
      • biggerdawg

        And the answer enlightened, envious non American? No, no answer, just drivel. Go park my car scholar,

        February 21, 2013 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Fire Fly 6

      really? how about we take neandrethals like yourself, and not allow you to procreate...so we can limit ibackwoods idiots in this world...j/s

      February 21, 2013 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
    • John Carr

      As long as you are first in line !!!!!

      February 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  20. haroldamaio

    Capone is concerned that the mentally ill are being stigmatized when most pose no threat to anyone.

    What could be more offensive than reference a broadly diverse group as a "the"? I belive I have seen it before, "the" Blacks comes to mind.

    And equally so, what could be more offensive than assigning a "stigma? I believe I have seen that one before, too. Women were trained to teach generation after generation the "stimga" of rape.

    February 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Brody

      ???What are you talking about???

      February 20, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Dennis

    8.2 Million people and 25 of 'em are crazy... that's freaking amazing. There's more than 25 people that are total nut cases on my block alone here in Dallas. Maybe that's why we've got a bat poop crazy governor?

    February 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      There are so many crazy people in NY, you have to always be aware of your surroundings there; people who are schizoid and on the streets and people who are regular working people who are paranoid and always on edge. When I moved there and lived for 7 years, I felt like they let the mental wards out to roam the streets.When you visit you don't realize it. When you live there, you see it clearer. Rule is stay away from the tracks and be aware of your surroundings. But, this high edge energy is what gives NY is character. There is always some unusual character on each subway car. Many people really like that about the city. Glad they are helping people that clearly need proper help. Yes, there is more than 25.

      February 20, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jorge

        In Curazao public transportation is so peaceful you can fall asleep on the bus, usually, in these countries the gendarmes don't negotiate with muggers, kidnappers or assaulters in the streets, crazy or sane, when they catch them; they just draw a bead, shoot them in the head and hose down the pavement. God, how I miss that.

        February 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Jason

    Instead of focusing on the the people who pushed their victims to their death, we should focus on creating a way for it not to happen at all. Why not erect a safety rail of some form that makes it harder to be either intentionally pushed on to the tracks, or accidentally falling on to them?
    I wouldn't call those labeled as mentally ill the issue here, basic safety standards, though more costly could benefit the situation more then going around accusing people who just happen to share a characteristic with the confessed murderers.

    February 20, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dynamic

      We definitely should have safety systems in place, just like in every other part of our society – railings are a requirement in homes and public buildings, wherever people might fall a certain distance, so why not in subways where anyone could fall and get killed? It's a no-brainer.

      February 20, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Have you ever ridden the subways in NYC? You need rapid entry and exit from the subways with the masses. The rails will be a serious impediment.

      February 20, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Rod Brombachwer

    Why not offer them services and therapy and medications?> Oh, wait, that might cost money and actually help people. Don't want to do that because it makes the USA weak..right?.

    February 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Shuffler

    Why go after the mentally ill. In some states it is considered ok to kill if you are mentally ill. Look at the recent stay of execution. Unfortunately the people killed were not allowed the right to have someone determin thier IQ or the method oftheir murder.

    February 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Sam

    What about the perfectly sane psychopaths who kill, or otherwise harm, for the fun of it?

    They're harder to find or notice, though they do congregate in certain places – Wall St, for example.

    February 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whut?

      A sane psychopath??

      February 20, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rod Brombachwer

        You know, Bachmann, Kantor and OConnell....

        February 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
        • dave in nc

          I know you think you are clevere, but you cannot compare this sociopathic murderers to greedy people. Apples and oranges.

          February 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  26. heythere

    So basically there going to be stopping everyone that lives in the City

    February 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Yes1fan

    Perhaps your definition of mentally ill could include the designers of the subway stations, who, likely due to costs, omitted incoming-train barrier walls like they have in some European subways.
    Shouldn't THAT be where the focus is?
    While they're at it in NYC, put in some walls to keep floodwaters OUT.

    February 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • chemicalbank


      February 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • adjsifoasd

      Yeah, those 19th century subway designers were insane not to have invented electronic positioning.

      February 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rudolf vs

      You forgot politicians.

      February 26, 2013 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  28. Mary

    John you are wrong most Child Molestations are not commited by closet Gays. The number of Fathers in jail are outrages for molesting there daugthers. The male on male encounters are from non-relatives, which all should be castrated or killed.

    February 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rod Brombachwer

      Or run for office as a Tea Party member.

      February 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Network

    Ban subways

    February 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • filo bedo

      Support safety gates!

      February 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  30. danks

    There isnt much that can be done about mentally ill people now that isnt being done but going forward I'd like to see better genetic screening during pregnancy. If we can clearly identify what level of mental illness a person would be born with then the pregnancy can just be terminated. The severely mentally ill are not productive members of society, they just drain resources and can potentially harm others. Even better – genetic manipulation to correct to correct these defects!

    February 20, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kathy in KC

      Thank you for saying what a lot of people might be afraid to say. I agree with you 110%. The difficulty is that mothers still have the right to choose if they want their child to be born, even against all medical and social advice. Some parents are able to care adequately for a disabled child. The sad reality is that most are not, and their selfish desire to keep their baby ends up impacting all the rest of us eventually. I'm not talking about CP or spina bifida, I'm talking about psychopathy, sexual deviance like pedophilia and bestiality, arson, vandalism, animal abuse, rape, sociopathy and many other disorders.

      February 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • wandaroo

        Kathy how are they going to determine an adult is going to be all those things from within the womb?: THe Nazis already tried doing this (they got it from Americans)–google euegenics . Who is the judge on who we kill and don't kill. Should we have American concentration camps? come on people. I am still amazed that this Nazi mentality exists in so many people.

        February 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rod Brombachwer

      But that will be considered morally wrong by the fake Christians(baptists) and will not be allowed by the GOTea as it's a form of abortion.

      February 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • scotonfire

      Germany is working on this as we speak.

      February 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • scotonfire

      What you are suggesting is science fiction. A mental disorder does not have a genetic signature.

      February 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dude

        Actually, some mental disorders are genetically based. Here is a start:

        February 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      You do not have the right to determine whic creatures are productive ones on this planet. Only evolution can make that determination. There are species that rely entirely on other creatures to sustain them – take bacteria, for example. Most people think of bacteria as being "bad", but the truth is that you would die without them.

      February 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  31. jefnvk

    Woah, 25 people, in a city of what, 8M? Way to fool people into thinking you are actually doing something...

    February 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  32. William


    February 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  33. William

    Above time.

    February 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  34. cvryder2000

    What do they plan to do with the mentally ill once the pick them up? There are not enough facilities for them and jail is the wrong place for them. Only a very few are dangerous to anyone but themselves.

    February 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • meifumado

      This is a huge problem in NYC (where I live )
      Back in the 80's the feds cut spending for mental illness and around ten thousand mental patients were released onto the streets of NYC.
      Just recently new york cut spending again and released more mental patients.
      What does our mayor think will happen?

      February 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nobody N. Particular

        That is what happened across the country, when the budget needs to be tightened, then lay that on those who can't (or don't) complain, the elderly, the children, and the mentally ill. The first services that are cut when cities and states cut budgets is education, medicare/medicaid, and a host of other services the disadvantaged need to just survive. Also, just because they were non-violent before they were released doesn't mean they will stay that way; these people don't have jobs, usually don't have homes, and a frequent victims of street crime, at some point they will stop being the victims of society and will start to victimize it.

        February 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Margaret

    Isn't there a HIPAA issue here?

    February 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Network


      February 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • You Know It!

      Nope, but there is a HIPPO Issue: damn fatties!

      February 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Lesley

    Killers come in all types. You can't blame every type of person for doing something because a certain type of person has done that. Also, what will this lead to? Giving tattoos to mentally ill, sending them to camps and gas chambers, etc etc. Sound familiar? Why not target the real problems. 1) Having hospitals for mental health issues, 2) Following up on any person with a violent history including mentally ill persons and those without any mental illness, 3) strengthening the punishments for different crimes to have people realize these things will not be tolerated.Punishments for many crimes seem pretty arbitrary – I saw in part of another article that the guy in Norway or whatever who killed 86 or so people got 20 years in prison – granted that isn't America, but here I have seen people get merely probation for violently attacking someone, get a couple weeks in jail for a dui, get 10 years for murder, etc. The punishments must fit the crime, or the criminals – the one's who don't have a conscience and need the threat of jail time etc to make them think twice – will not be deterred.

    February 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  37. bad behavior, not illness

    Why does someone who pushes people off of train platforms have to be mentally ill? People pay to go to Africa to blow away elephants for fun. That isn't mental illness either. It is sadism and lack of character. Same motivation here, different continent.

    February 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      Who said killing animals for fun isn't mental illness? The ASPCA would disagree with you.

      February 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Frank Lee

    Mentally ill people should be rounded up and sent to camps, preferably in places like Kansas and Nebraska.

    February 20, 2013 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • robert

      States should take care of their own. Every state used to have at least one state hospital for just this purpose. They should be reestablished. Nebraska and Kansas do not have the resources to care for every mentally ill person in the country, nor should they be expected to.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lord Toronaga

      They were created in cities ... let the cities keep them.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • You Know It!

        Many were created in Kentucky and West Virginia: when they can't keep it in their pants, they think keeping it in the family is just as safe.

        February 20, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • advocatusdiaboli

      California—they'd be right at home of the Left coast.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • melissa

      Come and get me motherf**ker.

      February 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Ulvskog

    In fact, this brilliant policing approach leads to all sorts of swell ideas! We need some kind of patch or maybe a tattoo so the cops can tell the difference between those of us who are on our meds and those "mentally ill killers" y'know the "mad dog killer types?" Besides the mentally ill are stigmatized already, so where is the harm? We all have to make sacrifices together so wealthy, well connected New Yorkers can breath a little easier. I know I'm excited to get my tracking collar.

    February 20, 2013 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • robert

      Wealthy, well-connected New Yorkers do not ride the subways. Both recent victims were working class people. The city should already know who they are. When mental health was "deinstitutionalized" in this country, the agreement was to replace the state hospitals with community-based treatment, not just dump them on the streets. That has not happened.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Ulvskog

    Very proactive, y'know, while we're at it, maybe we better think about rounding up the heterosexual men also? Something like 95% of the rapes and murder of women in the subway is caused by heterosexual men. We shouldn't go overboard, no reason to be unreasonable, just send them all to a few mandatory resocialization training sessions. Waive a few basic constitutional laws. After all, we want the ladies to feel safe. Who doesn't want that?

    February 20, 2013 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      AND 99% of all Child Molestations are committed by closet homosexuals!

      February 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Joel Corcoran

    I wish CNN would take the issue of mental illness seriously. This is not a well done piece and the title is unnecessarily sensationalizes the very few people with mental illness who are violent and creates more prejudice for the vast majority who are already disenfranchised and isolated by society.

    It is also inconsistent with the conversation that CNN is dancing around but not addressing about mental health service system failures. If Piers Morgan or Anderson Cooper would help put the spotlight and government "penny wise and pound foolish" mental health funding they would save a lot more lives lost to suicide than they will with gun reform.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Luz

      I agree with you Joel, the system in charge of mental health in this country is a disgrace. The article mentions mentally ill folks not taking their meds as being a problem but that is only part of it, those hospitalized are often not kept long enough to really tell if they are stable or not. Also lots of living facilities won't or can't take the most unstable, mental hospitals don't like to keep them more than briefly and they wind up on the strets.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  42. eroteme

    A few mentally ill killers have given a bad name to all mentally ill people, the vast majority of who are not killers. And we like to package people, if one or more mentally ill persons are killers then all mentally ill peopler are killers. If a few congressmen, congresspeople? are incompetent and/or dishonest all congressmen are incompetent and dishonest, etc.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  43. EVN

    What link is there between mental patients not taking meds or seeing their therapists and becoming a violent threat to others? I'd guess the answer is there is very little, or no, correlation and the NYC sweep is nothing more than a witch hunt.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  44. shelleybean73

    iIt's ironic to mention “It’s important to note, however, that most mentally ill people are not dangerous. There was a study done by the United States Surgeon General that indicated the overall contribution of mental illness to violence in our country is exceptionally small.".....and then CNN decides to sensationalize the issue with the title "sweeping violently mentally ill off NYC streets"....come on journalists! It sounds like a good old fashioned "round up"!!!! Way to go!!! Perpetuate stigma in one breath and try to weakly minimize the impact of your title in the next! I wonder what people will remember. Nice. People are people first, not "these people" or "the mentally ill". People live with mental illness and it shows how much mental illness and support for those needing help with these issues is valued in our culture.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  45. str8vision

    Many decades ago America dismantled the infrastructure needed to care for its mentally ill citizens. Where do you think the N.Y. police are taking the people being rounded up.... to jail and ultimately prison. Many people who suffer from mental illness end up homeless on the streets of our cities but quite a few end up in our for profit prison system where they are abused, harassed and tortured by guards and inmates alike because of their handicap. Prison is a "poor choice" for getting the mentally disabled off the streets as the abuses they will suffer on a daily basis may well cause their illness to fester into something much more dangerous. With the recent mass shootings and subway train incident I believe It is past time to re-open institutions that specialize in caring for those who suffer from mental illnesses including a few to house the criminally insane. Turning our backs on them and pretending they didn't exist hasn't worked out very well.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • EVN

      If past studies of prison inmate and mental instituion population are any indication, males being rounded up will likely end up in prison while females being rounded up will end up in involuntary commitment in mental institutions. That is just was America does with those who "don't fit in" and are actually, or perceived to be, threats to themselves, property or others.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • cq

      Do you not know why those institutions were closed, str8vision? Patients were abused, tortured, and not well cared for in many of them (NOT all, but those that were bad were really bad) and it was thought that smaller care centers and home care was preferable. Care, like everything else, goes in cycles. Before the institutions, these people were hidden in homes and cared for by family. Now you want to cycle back to large institutions. Sadly, yes, that would work for a short time, but costs and pay for the caregivers and doctors makes it near impossible to find enough people to do it properly. Even state run facilities now cannot afford to keep good people on staff and the turnover is incredibly high.
      And I would also suspect that a large number of the homeless in NY are against being in an institution. In St Louis, according to people who work the shelters, most of the mentally ill refuse to stay in shelters, preferring to be on the street where they are not forced to follow the rules of the shelters. It is a horrible situation all around.
      We as a society still have not been able to find the balance between what is best for mentally ill people and what they are allowed by their own rights to be able to do or not do. I keep hearing that forcing them to be medicated violates their rights, but then they are homeless and unable to care for themselves. How do you equalize that? Who should decide?

      February 20, 2013 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Money Is The Answer To Every Question

      Well, I know many of our Massachusetts mental institutions were ripped down for condo development. People with mental illness don't put enough money in people's pockets, you see.

      February 20, 2013 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • robert

      It is estimated somewhere between half and two-thirds of persons in prison are suffering from some sort of mental illness. Imprisonment is much more expensive than hospitalization and much less effective. In fact, it usually makes their illness worse.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • really?

      Straightvision, remember that we mentally ill are also your doctor, your lawyer, your love interest and your average person on the street. Many of us are doing better than all you "normal people" and have no need to be locked up in an institution or "swept off the streets of NYC". I've never done anything violent to another person but I've had violence done to me by "normal" men. Send them to the institution and sweep them off the streets. I need to get back to my job of saving your "normal" lives so you all can discriminate against people like me who help people like you.

      February 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Will

    This is a direct result of Reagan gutting mental health services in the 80s.

    And yet the dimwitted, Southern, double-digit-IQ tea bag red necks will somehow find a way to blame liberals/Obama.

    February 20, 2013 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • dumbasfock

      Yep. Regan closed the mental institutes in the 1980's and now in 2013 two people have been pushed off subway platforms. It absolutely is Regain's fault. You Obama people have no idea how stupid you look when you make comments like that. How about we blame OURSELVES???? This happened on our watch and blaming a president from 7 terms ago is intellectually lazy and societally dishonest. Obama has lots of things that can be criticized but this isnt one of them. Still, I'd blame a living current president befoer I'd blame a dead one from several decades ago. Your past dem presidents could have done something to change the situation but didnt. Obama could have done something but didnt. While we're on the topic YOU could have done soemthing but didnt...other than whine on an internet comment board after the fact.

      February 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Frank.grimes

        Awesome! And there you are to fulfill the prophecy. Well done, mouthbreather!

        February 20, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jim Brody

        Lame argument.

        February 20, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Locker

    Not really that hard to see the consequences of cutting/not providing enough of a safety net. It's not as if a Republican who's smug about their efforts to cut "handouts" and "entitlements" are immune from poverty induced crime or crazy people pushing them off train platforms. Can't understand why people act against their own best interests... and then are proud of it. smh.

    February 20, 2013 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  48. empresstrudy

    Being violently mentally ill is a free speech issue.

    February 20, 2013 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      Being violently mentally ill is an evolutionary issue. Maybe that is the next step for mankind.

      Badgers and wolverines are like that, and they get along just fine. Other creatures don't like them so much, but who cares?

      February 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |