New Jersey Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo announced the Study Commission on Violence will hold a public hearing Thursday in Camden. 

The Study Commission on Violence, a panel created through a bill passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie, has begun its examination of violence as a public health issue and will be holding hearings through the fall seeking input from the general public on how to address violence in New Jersey.

The panel is comprised of representatives from the Attorney General’s Office, the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey, the Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and four appointees of the Legislature and the Governor, and is charged with:

· Studying trends and sources or violence and provide recommendations to address violence in our communities;

· Identifying and seeking out grant funding opportunities to implement violence reduction and prevention initiatives;

· Examining the sufficiency of access to mental health treatment in New Jersey and its possible impact on violence;

· Reviewing existing mental health diversion programs that permit defendants to receive community-based treatment in lieu of incarceration; and

· Studying and providing recommendations as to whether or not the community-based mental health treatment system should be expanded statewide.

In order to meet its mandate, the Commission will hold public hearings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. throughout the state to solicit the testimony and input of members of the public. The public hearings will be held:


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rutgers University-Camden

Campus Center-Multipurpose Room

303 Cooper Street, Camden, N.J. 08102

(856) 225-7766


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Shiloh Baptist Church

340 Reverend S. Howard Woodson Jr. Way, Trenton, N.J. 08618

(609) 695-2448


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Second Baptist Church

110 Rev. Dr. Isaac Coles Plaza, Atlantic City, N.J. 08401

(609) 348-3580


All members of the public are welcomed to provide input to the Commission.

Members of the public may also submit ideas or comments via email at The Commission will issue a report early next year. For more information, contact Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes at (973) 881-4899.


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)

JuliHarpell-Elam, JBWS (Member)

BrettaJacquemin, 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


Released Monday, November 10, 2014.

public hearing