September 19, 2017
MORRIS LAWMAKERS TOUR, PROBE GREYSTONE SAFETY
Legislators visited Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital to discuss recent reports about patient and staff assaults at the state-run facility. As reported last month a statistical increase in assaults at Greystone is causing alarm among advocates for the treatment of mentally ill patients in need of hospital care.
HEALTH PROVIDERS, STATE OFFICIALS TALK MENTAL HEALTH REORGANIZATION PLANS
Providers who offer physical, mental and addiction health care voiced their concerns Wednesday about state organizational changes during a town hall meeting at the county college.
More than 30 people representing hospitals, private providers, county divisions and other health care partners asked how their services would be affected when the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services is transferred to the state Department of Health.
PRISON RE-ENTRY GROUP OUTLINES BLUEPRINT TO BENEFIT FORMER INMATES
New Jersey now spends more than $1 billion annually on a network of corrections programs, but at least half of those who have been behind bars are likely to be re-arrested within three years. That’s according to a new report which argues these public resources could be better spent on efforts to improve help former inmates access effective healthcare — including treatment for mental illness and substance-use disorders, which affect as many as three out of four prisoners.
3 CORRECTIONS OFFICERS CHARGED FOR ALLEGED ROLES IN JAIL SUICIDES
Three Cumberland County corrections officers are facing criminal charges in connection with two suicides at the Cumberland County jail in 2017. Within the past two years, a total of at least six suicides have happened in the jail. The county is currently being sued as a result of the deaths. The county has created plans to make a new jail that is anticipated to open in 2020.
PETE DOMENICI, SENATE PARITY CHAMPION DIES AT 85
Pete V. Domenici, the former six-term Republican senator from New Mexico whose mastery of budget and tax issues and energy policy made him one of the Senate’s most influential members, died on Wednesday in Albuquerque. He was 85. He pushed for giving mental health parity in health insurance coverage, a matter that affected him personally: One of his eight children had schizophrenia. His bipartisanship made him one of the most respected members of the Senate.
DEAL STRUCK TO EXTEND FINANCING FOR CHILDREN’S HEALTH PROGRAM
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the top Democrat on the panel announced on Tuesday night that they had reached agreement on a plan to prevent the imminent exhaustion of federal funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Nearly nine million children receive health insurance through the program including coverage for mental health care. The program is for children in families that make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford other coverage.