Prosecutor to convene panel to study violence as a public health issue | Paterson Times

Prosecutor to convene panel to study violence as a public health issue


The Study Commission on Violence, a commission created through a state law passed in 2013 to study violence, is set to convene a panel in William Paterson University on Thursday, October 2.

The commission chaired by Passaic County prosecutor Camelia Valdes is seeking public input on how to address violence in New Jersey.

The nine member commission which includes a members from the attorney general’s office and department of health seeks to study violence trends, sources, and its impact on communities. The commission is tasked with producing a report recommending ways to address violence in Garden State communities.

It will find out whether community based mental health facilities should be expanded. It will review existing mental health programs that allow mentally disturbed individuals to receive treatment instead of prison time. It will also examine whether the sufficiency of access to mental health and its possible impact on violence.

The commission will also seek out grant funding to implement initiatives to curb violence. The commission will hold its first public hearing of a total of six to be held throughout the state at the William Paterson University student Center-Ballroom C, located at 300 Pompton Road, Wayne, NJ on Thursday, October 2 at 6 p.m to 8 p.m.

All members of the public are invited to provide input to the commission.

Members of the Commission

Camelia M. Valdes, Passaic County Prosecutor (Chairwoman)
Salaam Ismial, Director, National United Youth Council (Co-Chair)
Dr. Sheetal Ranjan, Professor, William Paterson University (Secretary)
Mary Jo Buchanan, CEO, Ocean Partnership for Children (Member)
Joseph C. Fanaroff, Deputy Attorney General & Special Assistant to the Attorney General (Member)
Steve Fishbein, Manager, Justice Involved Services, Department of Human Services (Member)
Juli Harpell-Elam, JBWS (Member)
Bretta Jacquemin, Department of Health (Member)
Debra Jenkins, Assistant Director, Municipal Court Services, Administrative Office of the Courts (Member)

Staff to the Study Commission on Violence

Alyson Gush, Chief, Program Development & Victim Witness Advocacy, Division of Criminal Justice
Gerard Hughes, Deputy Attorney General
Jennifer Lochel, Deputy Attorney General
Michelle Perry-Thompson, Deputy Attorney General
Jane Schuster, Deputy Attorney General

The commission is required to complete a report for submission to the state’s legislature and to the governor containing its findings and recommendations “to address the epidemic of violence.”