SENATE, No. 2330

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 9, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† RICHARD J. CODEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

Senator† JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Madden and Pou

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery programs.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning substance abuse recovery assistance and supplementing Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† The Legislature finds and declares that: †††††††

†††† a.†††† According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of heroin and opioid-related deaths in the United States has nearly tripled since 2010.

†††† b.††† New Jersey's overdose death rate is currently more than three times the national rate, and overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the State.†

†††† c.†††† Data show that treatment for heroin and opioid addictions have become spread evenly across all of the Stateís demographics.

†††† d.††† Increasing access to treatment without fear of arrest or law enforcement action is essential to persuade those who suffer from addiction to receive the treatment they need.

†††† e.†††† In certain parts of the State and in other jurisdictions, increased access to treatment has resulted from collaborative efforts of law enforcement, community professionals, and volunteers providing support to those who need additional assistance in seeking treatment.

†††† f.†††† The establishment of law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery programs would provide additional support necessary to assist many of those who need treatment by encouraging those suffering from heroin and opioid addiction to seek recovery; helping to distribute life-saving drugs to prevent and treat overdoses; and connecting people suffering from heroin and opioid addiction with treatment programs and facilities.

 

†††† 2.††† The Director of the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall provide for the establishment, upon the request of the department or force, of a law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery program in accordance with section 4 of P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) in any county police department or force established pursuant to N.J.S.40A:14-106, or municipal police department or force established pursuant to N.J.S.40A:14-118.† In providing for the establishment of these programs, the director shall:

†††† a.†††† prescribe by regulation requirements for a law enforcement department to establish, or otherwise authorize the operation within that department, of a law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery program;

†††† b.††† develop and implement guidelines for the recruitment and training of law enforcement officers and personnel, volunteers, and treatment providers to participate in the program;

†††† c.†††† support and facilitate, to the maximum extent practicable, the linkage of law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery programs to facilities and programs that may provide appropriate substance abuse recovery services, health care services, including mental health services, medication-assisted drug treatment services, and other substance abuse treatment services to program participants;

†††† d.††† coordinate with law enforcement officials, personnel, and program volunteers to ensure that individuals seeking to participate in the program are treated with respect, care, and compassion, and are reassured that assistance will be provided;

†††† e.†††† establish eligibility requirements for participation in the program which shall include, but not be limited to, the provisions of P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill); and †

†††† f.†††† develop and implement procedures for determining eligibility to participate in the program, including, but not limited to, conducting a wanted person check pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2003, c.282 (C.30:4-91.3c) on each potential program participant.

 

†††† 3.††† a. For any individual who enters a law enforcement department seeking to participate in a law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery program, the chief law enforcement officer or a designee shall determine if the individual is currently under a sentence of probation.† If an individual is determined to be on probation, any placement pursuant to the program shall be coordinated with the individualís probation officer.

†††† b.††† An individual shall be ineligible to participate in the program if:

†††† (1)†† the individual is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-2);

†††† (2)†† the individual has an outstanding arrest warrant or pending criminal charges;

†††† (3)†† the individual is under 18 years of age and does not have the consent of a parent or guardian; or

†††† (4)†† the chief law enforcement officer or a designee expresses the reasonable belief that the officer, personnel, or others could be seriously harmed by the individual.

†††† c.†††† If at any time the individual is determined to be in need of medical assistance, the law enforcement officer or personnel shall immediately seek emergency medical assistance for the individual.

 

†††† 4.††† A law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery program established pursuant to P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall comply with the following requirements:

†††† a.†††† Individuals who enter a law enforcement department and request help with their addiction pursuant to the law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery program shall immediately be screened for eligibility to participate.

†††† b.††† Eligibility for participation is specifically and exclusively limited to individuals who enter a law enforcement department to request assistance with their addiction.

†††† c.†††† All law enforcement personnel having contact with an individual who enters a law enforcement department and requests assistance pursuant to the program shall be professional, compassionate, and understanding at all times.

†††† d.††† If, at the time of requesting assistance pursuant to the program, an individual is in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, controlled dangerous substance analog, or drug paraphernalia, the individual shall not be criminally charged.† The materials shall be collected and secured for later destruction in accordance with established procedures.

†††† e.†††† A person shall not question the individual in an effort to collect intelligence, determine the origins of any controlled dangerous substance, controlled dangerous substance analog, or drug paraphernalia relinquished by the individual, or take any other action which may discourage individuals from seeking to participate in the program without fear of arrest or law enforcement action.

†††† f.†††† The law enforcement officer or personnel having initial contact with the individual shall immediately notify the chief law enforcement officer or designee that an individual is requesting assistance with the individualís addiction.

†††† g.††† The chief law enforcement officer or designee shall initiate intake procedures and inform a program volunteer that an intake is occurring and request the volunteer to respond to the law enforcement department. †The individual shall be notified of the volunteerís estimated arrival time.

†††† h.††† The volunteer shall provide emotional support and guidance to the individual, explore treatment options, and attempt to identify a program or facility which can assist the individual.† If possible, the volunteer shall remain with the individual until the individual has been formally admitted to treatment, including at the law enforcement department, hospital, or intake location for the treatment facility.

†††† i.†††† If the volunteer, after contacting all possible sources of treatment, is unable to place the individual, the volunteer shall give the individual a plan to continue attempting to obtain assistance prior to the individual leaving the law enforcement department. The volunteer shall make every effort to find a safe place for the individual upon departure.

†††† j.†††† Participation in the program shall be voluntary.† If an individual subsequently elects not to request assistance or continue with the program, the individual shall be permitted to depart.

†††† k.††† If at any time during participation in the program or attempting to participate in the program an individual who has relinquished a controlled dangerous substance, controlled dangerous substance analog, or drug paraphernalia withdraws the request for assistance or elects to discontinue participation in the program, the individual shall not be charged with a crime or offense for possessing the items they have already relinquished.

 

†††† 5.††† This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill requires the Director of the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services to provide for the establishment of law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery programs in law enforcement departments throughout the State.†

†††† The nationís overdose deaths related to heroin and opioid addiction have increased dramatically in recent years, and in New Jersey, the overdose death rate is currently three times the national rate.† In an effort to increase access to treatment for heroin and opioid addiction, certain law enforcement departments in New Jersey and in other jurisdictions have worked with community professionals and volunteers to provide additional support to those who need it.

†††† This bill provides for the establishment of these law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery programs in law enforcement departments throughout the State.† Under the bill, the director, in consultation with the Attorney General, is required to prescribe by regulation requirements for county and municipal law enforcement departments to establish or authorize the operation of a program within their departments; develop and implement guidelines for the recruitment and training of law enforcement officers, volunteers, and treatment providers to participate in the program; support and facilitate the linkage of law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery programs to facilities and programs that provide appropriate substance abuse recovery services and health care services; coordinate with law enforcement officials and program volunteers to ensure that individuals seeking to participate in the program are treated with respect, care, and compassion, and are reassured that assistance will be provided; establish requirements for an individual to be eligible for participation in the program; and develop and implement procedures for determining eligibility requirements for the program.

†††† All law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery programs are required to comply with the requirements set forth under the bill.† These requirements are similar to requirements associated with programs that have been established in Massachusetts, as well as in Newton and New Brunswick, New Jersey.† By increasing access to treatment without fear of arrest or law enforcement action, these law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery programs have helped a number of people suffering from substance abuse obtain the treatment they need.