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Kendra’s Law

May 12, 2010

Kendra Webdale was a young woman from Fredonia who had moved to New York City and was trying to make it as a journalist. One morning, as she was standing on a subway platform, a man with severe schizophrenia came up behind her and pushed her in front of an oncoming train. She was killed instantly.

The random nature of the attack, its senselessness and sheer brutality stunned the entire city, and subsequently led to passage of legislation that addressed the problem of deranged people who go off their meds and wander city streets.

The legislation expires this year, and lawmakers must revisit the issue.  

As a public policy experiment, Kendra’s Law was a success. Three major studies have indicated that it protects society and helps the mentally ill. See the Empirepage for information on these studies, as well as a haunting image of Kendra that caught our attention this morning.   

This law should be made permanent. There’s no legitimate reason not to do so.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. mark Keister permalink
    May 12, 2010 1:25 PM

    Thank Ronald Reagan for this – closing mental institutions via cessation of funding put literally millions of mentally ill on the streets where they continue to roam. Funny how deficit reduction always starts with clipping the life lines of the most in need . . .

  2. May 12, 2010 4:02 PM

    THank you for this. You are right.
    Today’s USA Today: New Report says seriously mentally are 3X more likely to be incarcerated than hospitalized: . The report also points out that Kendra’s Law reduces incarceration 87%

    I urge those who support this to contact their state legislators and ask them to co-sponsor
    S7596 (Young) and A10421(Gunther). They make the law permanent, and include enhancements suggested by the prior research.

    The following links may also be of interest.

    Analysis of opposition to making law permanent
    See Bill Comparisons showing why OMH is wrong bill:
    See Research showing it is effective:
    See List of supporters (bottom of page)
    See 1999 Sheldon Silver op-ed in Albany Times Union (so you can remind him):

    Recent Editorials
    Oneanta Daily Star editorial:
    Three Ganett Papers editorial:
    Newsday editorial:
    Buffalo News Editorial:
    Daily News Editorial:

    Recent Op-eds
    By VP NYS Chiefs of Police:
    By Pat Webdale:

    Other recent op-eds:'s%20Law%20permanent%20and%20improve%20it

    Recent News

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