Kendra's Law Saving Millions for NY State

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A New York law may be saving the state millions of dollars, according to a Duke University study. Kendra's Law requires those with severe mental illnesses, multiple hospitalizations, and a history of violent behavior to receive assisted outpatient treatment.

Researchers from Duke University found that the law is cost-effective in the long run because it keeps New Yorkers with severe mental illnesses out of jails and hospitals.

On Friday’s The Takeaway, Dr. Paul Appelbaum, director of the Division of Law, Ethics and Psychiatry at Columbia University’s medical school, said the legislation has been fairly successful at treating those with mental illnesses.

“Patients who are placed on a Kendra's Law Outpatient Commitment Status have fewer hospitalizations, more utilization of outpatient services, are less likely to get arrested, and less likely to end up homeless,” Appelbaum said.

Some mental health advocates, however, are against the law. They say forcing a person to accept treatment when they're not hospitalized is a violation of civil rights.