NYS gun law. sect 404 stigma gives a sense of safety.


 26    S  3.  Section  404  of  the correction law is amended by adding a new  subdivision 3 to read as follows:

28    3. WITHIN A REASONABLE PERIOD PRIOR TO DISCHARGE OF AN INMATE  COMMIT-TED FROM A STATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY FROM A HOSPITAL IN THE DEPARTMENT OF  MENTAL  HYGIENE  TO  THE COMMUNITY, THE DIRECTOR SHALL ENSURE THAT A CLINICAL ASSESSMENT HAS BEEN COMPLETED TO DETERMINE WHETHER  THE  INMATE MEETS  THE CRITERIA FOR ASSISTED OUTPATIENT TREATMENT PURSUANT TO SUBDI-VISION (C) OF SECTION 9.60 OF THE MENTAL HYGIENE LAW. 

Comment: A person already in prison/psych hospital does not have a gun at hand. The law here doesn’t specify what that clinical assessment BEFORE release is looking for related to gun controls. Why is this provision of “assessment” of mental health  here under a gun control law and not as part of systematic mental health policy is beyond me. All it achieves, in my view, is officially stigmatizing  people with mental illness by associating them with  criminals and mass murderers.

Mental health advocates have been talking for years about how our state’s mental health policy has turned  prisons into the facto psych hospitals with no treatment there either. Now the punitive for-profit correctional system we have in this state will have more opportunities to keep the mentally ill inside and the state will ‘save’ some money to boot because, of course they will be found to be come mentally ill. Those who are mentally ill and were incarcerated for that will be related to this gun control law and declared a threat under this law.

And since now we have legally concluded that crimes committed with guns are crimes of the mentally ill, those who are NOT mentally ill but committed crimes with guns will find themselves on our side.

More comments to come later.

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