NY State DAs Support Hope House
Dear Members and Friends,
Last week the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY) sent a letter to Governor Cuomo asking him to support Hope House on Crotona Park, the Greenburger Center's secure Alternative to Incarceration. In his letter, DAASNY President DA Thomas Zugibe said:
The number of incarcerated seriously mentally ill felony offenders has continued to climb in recent years. As a result, our prisons have become our largest mental health providers. As one national movement, the Stepping Up Initiative, observed, "The human toll of this problem—and its cost to taxpayers—is staggering."
To address this problem, DA Zugibe asked Governor Cuomo to use his executive agencies to help make Hope House a reality. While the justice system has alternatives to address the mental health needs of some individuals, DA Zugibe said, "many mentally ill offenders are difficult to place because appropriate residential services with well-controlled, secure environments simply do not exist."
DA Zugibe concluded:
"Hope House offers a secure residential setting to provide appropriate care. This will ensure both that the offender obtains appropriate required treatment and that the community remains safe -- if not safer – due to better security during treatment and better outcomes for these offenders. This comports with evidence that programs such as
Hope House have a greater impact than incarceration."
DAASNY joins many others who have written letters and expressed support for Hope House including, the Commissioner of NYC Probation; the Director of NYC Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice; NYS Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks and Administrative and Mental Health Court Judges D'Emic, Obus, Zayas, Serita and Hirsch; the Treatment Advocacy Center; the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims; NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; the NYC Council, particularly the Bronx Delegation; Bronx Borough President Rubin Diaz, Jr.; and Assembly Members Blake, Crespo, Lentol, O'Donnell, and Ortiz.
We are grateful for the support of so many groups and individuals and stand ready to work with Governor Cuomo and his executive agencies to make Hope House a reality.