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NY extends Kendra’s Law to allow courts to force treatment

ALBANY — The State Legislature unanimously approved a five-year extension of a bill that empowers courts to order outpatient treatment for mentally ill people determined to be a potential threat to themselves or others.

Kendra’s Law, as the measure is known, is due to expire June 30. The bill now goes to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who is expected to sign it into law. Sen. Catharine Young (R-Olean) had sought to make the 1999 measure permanent.

“We also recognize that extending the legislation not only allows us, but compels us to re-evaluate the program every few years to look for opportunities for improvement,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).

The law is named for Kendra Webdale, who was killed in 1999 after she was pushed in front of a subway train by a man with serious mental illness who had fallen out of care.


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