11 J.L. & Pol'y 313 (2002-2003)
Is Kendra's Law a Keeper - How Kendra's Law Erodes Fundamental Rights of the Mentally Ill

handle is hein.journals/jlawp11 and id is 319 raw text is: IS KENDRA'S LAW A KEEPER? HOW
KENDRA'S LAW ERODES FUNDAMENTAL
RIGHTS OF THE MENTALLY ILL
Erin O'Connor*
INTRODUCTION
In 1999, New York enacted legislation mandating involuntary
outpatient commitment for mentally ill individuals with a history
of noncompliance with treatment who are unlikely to survive
safely in the community without supervision.' Outlining an
Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program that includes
intensive community-based treatment under the court-ordered
supervision of a team of mental health professionals, the law,
commonly known as Kendra's Law, was passed in response to
the tragic death of Kendra Webdale.2 Ms. Webdale was killed
when an individual with a long history of mental illness pushed
her onto the New York City subway tracks in front of an
oncoming train.3 Her death raised questions about the efficacy of
* C.S.W.; Brooklyn Law School Class of 2004; M.S.S.W., Columbia
University, 1998; B.A., American University, 1996. The author would like to
thank her friends, colleagues at The Legal Aid Society - Capital Division, the
staff of the Journal of Law and Policy and her family for their support and
encouragement. A special thanks to her husband Brian for his unending love,
support, patience and cooking and cleaning.
N.Y. MENTAL HYG. LAW  9.60 (McKinney 2002). See also infra Part
I.B (discussing  Kendra's Law  and  outlining  additional eligibility
requirements).
2  9.60. See also discussion infra Part I.B (describing AOT in detail).
3 See, e.g., Maggie Haberman et al., Woman, 32, Is Pushed to Her Death
in Subway Horror, N.Y. POST, Jan. 4, 1999, at 4; Bill Sanderson, Horror on
the Tracks: Woman Killed in Subway Nightmare, Pushed from Platform by

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