In a recent town hall meeting, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey told a mother who nearly lost her son to heroine that the state should institute mandatory treatment for non-violent drug offenders instead of putting them behind bars.
The Governor explained that New Jersey currently has 7,000 people who were charged with drug possession or other non-violent, drug-related offenses in jail instead of rehabilitation centers.
He also noted that state prisons should not house those who commit non-violent crimes or people who were only arrested for possessing enough drugs for personal use. Instead, he said, “What I propose now is that in every county in New Jersey we have to have drug court and that every non-violent drug offender has to, mandatorily, go to drug treatment.”
Some are speculating that the governor’s plan may have an effect on New Jersey’s Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, which allows individuals who are charged with drug possession in New Jersey to avoid prosecution altogether in exchange for admittance into an approved intervention and rehabilitation program (as long as certain conditions are met).
If the governor’s plan is put into action, it might become much easier for attorneys to have their clients gain admittance into PTI or it could bring about the creation of a separate program that makes concessions for all non-violent drug possession charges in NJ.
This plan, if implemented, has the potential to impact anyone charged with drug possession in NJ. Depending on the quantity of the drugs found, one might be able to avoid imprisonment altogether.
Although Christie did not highlight whether the non-violent offender would still have a criminal record, the plan appears to be a step in the direction of protecting non-violent offenders.
If you or a loved one has been charged with drug possession in NJ or any other drug-related offense, you will need the assistance of a highly skilled criminal defense attorney like Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm. He has been successfully handling these types of cases for years and will be able to help protect your rights and liberty. E-mail or call him today at 888-883-5529.