NJ: Governor, in veto, recommends barring sex offenders from mental health diversion programs

Source: newjerseymonitor.com 11/29/23

Gov. Phil Murphy this week conditionally vetoed a bill that would expand an intervention program to divert some nonviolent criminal defendants to mental health programs, with Murphy recommending lawmakers bar people arrested for sex offenses subject to Megan’s Law.

Lawmakers narrowly passed the bill in June along party lines, with Republicans warning it would push violent offenders onto the street.

Murphy issued a statement on Monday supporting the spirit of the bill, saying: “Mental health issues should not be unnecessarily criminalized.”

“This bill ensures that individuals whose criminal behaviors are a result of mental disorders are provided therapeutic services while still being held accountable for their actions,” Murphy wrote.

But he objected to its language that excludes only first-degree crimes from the program, leaving second-degree and violent crimes, including offenses that trigger Megan’s Law, “presumptively ineligible, subject to prosecutor review.” He recommended lawmakers revise the bill to make Megan’s Law-triggering crimes “categorically ineligible.”

Murphy noted that bill sponsor Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) requested the change to the bill.

“If in fact there was any appearance of a loophole, this secures the intent of the bill,” Ruiz told the New Jersey Monitor.

The legislation would expand mental health diversion programs that exist in five New Jersey counties to three new court jurisdictions. The programs function like recovery court, allowing criminal offenders with mental health disorders to avoid jail time and, if they graduate from the program, have their charges expunged.

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wow.. read it and sounded nice “if they graduate from the program, have their charges expunged.” but people on Megan’s law isn’t qualified.. to me this sounds like being a registered citizen is a permanent 2nd class citizen with no means to be removed… totally sounds like my life everytime California makes new laws that suppose to help people, but not registered citizens…

how can we fight this?

Funny how the state figures that one convicted for a sex offense must be mentally ill enough to mandate “treatment” while on probation or parole and/or make them eligible for “civil” commitment, but beyond help with a diversion program if it means getting their charges expunged, presumably complete with no prison time or registration.

I beg to differ. It makes sense to me to address the root of the problem to PREVENT crimes and to stop re-offense. Harsher and harsher punishment does not PREVENT crimes.

Murphy noted that bill sponsor Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) requested the change to the bill.

This isn’t a Dems vs. Reps thing. PFRs need to wake up and realize that there isn’t a party that won’t throw us under the bus if they think for a second it may help them.

My guess is Sen. Teresa Ruiz has zero understanding of who all is considered a sex offender, what crimes were committed, and who is currently on the “list” of almost one million and counting. Does she know there are tweens and teens on the list? Does she know mental health care helps many in this group? Does she even consider these people to be people? She does not. Either that, or she just doesn’t care. Either way she is not fit to represent the people if she is not going to represent all of them.

This is a Dems on Dems issue since Governor Murphy is a Dem as well as most of the legislature which makes New Jersey a trifecta in favor of the Democrats. However, it was the total opposite in 1994 when the late Paul Kramer (a very evil man) introduced Megan’s law to both Republican controlled chambers of the New Jersey legislature. GOP Governor Christine Todd Whitman signed the package and the rest is history.

No matter how many times PFRs are blanket excluded, never an indication of animus.

If “Treatment programs” are ineffective and/or inappropriate, what are the Civil Commitment shadow prisons doing? Isn’t the official State lie that serves as the Illusion of Legitimacy for these things, “Treatment programs”? If they are not “Treatment” then what are the poor souls trapped in their for?

Seems treatment is only appropriate when it serves State purposes. Kinda like the, Treatment I was forced to participate in… seemed a heck of a lot more like trying to find an excuse to make your life worse.

The registry and public access to the internet was still new when they made all these crazy laws, now registrants are starting to get old and the government doesn’t wanna have to fit the bill for old sick elderly mentally challenged, sex offenders anymore, They’ll rather label them high risk offenders and throw them on the streets with nowhere to go, so they’re constantly monitored by law enforcement until they make one lil mistake and get sent right back to prison.

Hmmm…. it’s like committing a sex crime isn’t due to some mental disorder? I was raped when I was seven. Do you think I just might have some kind of psychological issues that treatment might help me deal with? Just perhaps? Or am I nothing for than a immoral pervert who only deserves punishment both through incarceration and the lifelong indignity of being on the Megan’s Law public pillory? These politicians are pieces of shit.