Madman’s jailhouse stabbing is yet another epic fail by New York City


Alleged Grand Central stabbing maniac Steven Hutcherson rolled out of bed Thursday morning and slashed a fellow detainee at a Rikers jail.

System failure, anyone?

Fail No. 1: Nabbed for stabbing strangers and with a long psych record, he was clearly unhinged and so should’ve been in a secure unit for the mentally ill.

Fail No. 2: How could he smuggle the blade past scanners and jail guards?

Sources tell The Post he got cleared for placement in the general population after psychological evaluation by Correctional Health Services (a division of NYC Health + Hospitals.)

“Sometimes they fool the psychiatrist,” said one frustrated insider. But his record should have overridden any performance. (And the CHS shrink should have had access to all of Hutcherson’s prior evaluations at Bronx and Manhattan hospitals.)

As for the staff failure that let him get a knife: Count that as one more reason Rikers ought to go into federal receivership — whatever it takes to restore basic professionalism.

Of course, the “jail fails” follow the earlier systemic issues that left Hutcherson walking free in Grand Central despite his history of bizarre and dangerous behavior.

Neither judges nor public mental-health workers want to deal with the seriously, dangerously mentally ill, so the likes of Hutcherson cycle in and out of court and brief hospitalizations — revolving-door “treatment” — until someone gets stabbed, slugged, subway-shoved or otherwise seriously assaulted, or the troubled individual himself ends up a victim.

Jail staff need the training, support and oversight to properly handle intake, screening and placement of the mentally ill.

State lawmakers need to give Mayor Adams the ability to get emotionally disturbed individuals like Steven Hutcherson properly evaluated and committed to hospital-inpatient care where the right meds get administered in a secure, controlled environment.

“He needs help, he needs help,” Hutcherson’s ex-girlfriend Charisma Knight told The Post the day before his Rikers assault, warning: “These people actually do need help, If you’re just letting them go … he might just kill somebody.”

All too many other distressed and disturbed types have wound up killing. New York’s political class has to face its basic humane duties here, and embrace tough love instead of malign neglect.

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