Measure Would Declare Violence a Public Health Emergency, Support Stronger Gun Control Measures and Expand Mental Health Programs to Defuse Violence in NJ Communities
TRENTON – Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, along with Salaam Ismial, Director, National United Youth Council, and a representative from Union County’s Mental Health Court, will be on hand tomorrow, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19 at 11:00 AM in STATEHOUSE ROOM 103 across from the Senate Chambers to unveil the Senator’s legislation to reduce violence in New Jersey communities.
“As President Obama so eloquently stated at the Sandy Hook Prayer Vigil, ‘No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction,’” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “We cannot simply accept the status quo any longer when children are being gunned down in classrooms in Connecticut or on the streets in urban New Jersey. It’s time that we get serious about reducing violence and protecting the innocent from becoming victims.”
Senator Lesniak’s legislation would declare violence a public health crisis in New Jersey, opening up the possibility of using funds from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to mitigate the crisis. The legislation would recommend the expansion of the use of involuntary out-treatment commitments and mental health courts to treat mental health issues before they erupt into violence and divert mentally ill offenders to court-mandated treatment. It would also recommend federal adoption of gun control measures and would establish a Study Commission on Violence to make policy recommendations to reduce violence in the Garden State.