TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz issued the following statement on her legislation to establish a Mental Health Diversion Program becoming law:
“Because of the collective efforts of Governor Murphy, Attorney General Matt Platkin, the courts, numerous prosecutors, public defenders, and legal experts we have now expanded life-saving resources to some of our most vulnerable citizens. Thank you to all of the dedicated mental health advocates, social justice stakeholders, and those directly impacted by mental health challenges who bravely shared their stories with us. We showed what is possible when we lock arms together to create positive change for those suffering from mental health issues.
“Our communities and families do not benefit when individuals are arrested and incarcerated for symptoms of their mental illness. The growing mental health crisis in New Jersey requires a comprehensive mental health solution. With the signing of this bill, we will ensure that those individuals with serious mental health challenges get the treatment, supervision, and the services that they need, rather than being trapped in the criminal justice system.
“Through these efforts, we have created a safer and a more just society, and reduced the cost of incarceration that is borne by the taxpayer.”