Greenburger plans to open Bronx treatment center for mentally ill convicts

Time Equities CEO's son suffers from mental illness

Francis Greenburger
Francis Greenburger

After his mentally ill son, Morgan, was convicted of arson four years ago, Time Equities chair and CEO Francis Greenburger experienced firsthand the futility of finding a treatment alternative to sending Morgan to prison. “A fool’s errand,” he described the process.

It motivated the developer to establish the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice — an advocacy organization aimed at developing incarceration alternatives for mentally ill people who commit serious crimes. Now, the organization is eyeing its first treatment center in the Bronx.

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The Greenburger Center acquired two neighboring houses in the Bronx for $2.3 million this January with the goal of establishing such an incarceration alternative for mentally ill convicts. Greenburger is aiming for a public-private partnership to develop the center, which would allow 16 patients to receive extensive treatment instead of doing time in prison.

Setting up a six-year pilot program for the center is estimated to cost $12 million, with the Time Equities founder pledging a quarter of the funds himself.

“We think our program will be successful because there will be lower recidivism rates,” Greenburger told the Journal. “We are trying to create something that will cost less and produce better results.” [WSJ]Rey Mashayekhi