Bill Text: NJ A4805 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires VCCO's victim counseling service to partner with trauma centers to refer certain victims to violence intervention programs.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 9-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-07 - Reported and Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee [A4805 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A4805-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 4805

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED DECEMBER 10, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  LOUIS D. GREENWALD

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires VCCO's victim counseling service to partner with trauma centers to refer certain victims to violence intervention programs.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the victim counseling service and amending P.L.1982, c.192.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 2 of P.L.1982, c.192 (C.52:4B-25) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    a.  (1)  The Victims of Crime Compensation [Agency] Office shall establish a victim counseling service which shall identify and develop sources to provide counseling to victims as defined in P.L.1971, c.317.  The service shall provide assistance to victims without charge, [which assistance shall include] including information and advice relative to filing a claim with the board, emergency food and clothing, employment opportunities, referral to other social service agencies, and in obtaining legal advice or representation.  The service shall be conducted at [such] locations within the State as the agency deems advisable. 

     (2)   The victim counseling service shall establish a partnership with State-designated trauma centers to provide for the referral of victims who are trauma patients injured in a violent manner to violence intervention programs.

     b.    The [agency] office is authorized to appoint [such] personnel for the service as may be necessary to carry out its functions. Appointments made pursuant to this subsection shall be within the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the agency for this purpose.

     c.     (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2007, c.95).

     d.    The [agency] office may also identify and develop sources to provide mental health counseling to victims, and provide victims with [such] information as may be appropriate through its victim counseling service.

(cf:  P.L.2007, c.95, s.27)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the sixth month after enactment, provided however, the Commissioner of Health and the Executive Director of the Victims of Crime Compensation Office may take, prior to the effective date, any action needed to effectuate the provisions of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     Under current law, the Victims of Crime Compensation Office maintains a victim counseling service which identifies and develops sources to provide counseling to victims. The service provides this assistance to victims without charge, including information and advice on filing a claim with the Victims of Crime Compensation Review Board, emergency food and clothing, employment opportunities, referral to other social service agencies, and obtaining legal advice or representation. 

     This bill requires the victim counseling service to establish a partnership with State-designated trauma centers to provide for the referral of victims who are trauma patients injured in a violent manner to violence intervention programs. 

     The purpose of this bill is to provide for intervention in the revolving door of gunshot injuries that is witnessed by many hospitals, especially trauma centers.  Patients who have gunshot injuries are at very high risk of being violently reinjured and perpetrating retaliatory violence themselves.  Many die as a result of the continuing cycle of violence.  Hospital-based violence intervention programs attempt to break these cycles of violence by providing counseling and social services to patients recovering from gunshot wounds and other violent injuries.

     The bill also updates references to the Victims of Crime Compensation Agency to the Victims of Crime Compensation Office to conform to Reorganization Plan No. 001-2008.

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