The panel is charged with studying trends and sources of violence and providing recommendations to address violence; identifying and seeking out grants for 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 on whether the community-based mental health treatment system should be expanded statewide.


Senate Democrats

Measure Would Declare Violence a Public Health Emergency, Support Stronger Gun Control Measures and Expand Mental Health Programs to Defuse Violence in NJ Communities

TRENTON – Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, along with Salaam Ismial, Director, National United Youth Council, and a representative from Union County’s Mental Health Court, will be on hand tomorrow, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19 at 11:00 AM in STATEHOUSE ROOM 103 across from the Senate Chambers to unveil the Senator’s legislation to reduce violence in New Jersey communities.


By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. Dec. 19, 2012

The bill would declare violence a public health crisis in New Jersey so the state could get money from the federal Centers For Disease Control and Prevention to deal with the problem.Senator Ray Lesniak says the legislation also recommends the expansion of involuntary outpatient commitments to treat mental health issues before they erupt into violence.

“There is no panacea. Violence will continue, but there are many cases where you can spot it ahead of time and prevent it.”

“As President Obama so eloquently stated at the Sandy Hook Prayer Vigil, ‘No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction,’” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “We cannot simply accept the status quo any longer when children are being gunned down in classrooms in Connecticut or on the streets in urban New Jersey. It’s time that we get serious about reducing violence and protecting the innocent from becoming victims.”

Senator Lesniak’s legislation would declare violence a public health crisis in New Jersey, opening up the possibility of using funds from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to mitigate the crisis. The legislation would recommend the expansion of the use of involuntary out-treatment commitments and mental health courts to treat mental health issues before they erupt into violence and divert mentally ill offenders to court-mandated treatment. It would also recommend federal adoption of gun control measures and would establish a Study Commission on Violence to make policy recommendations to reduce violence in the Garden State.

Trayvon Martin shooting: Screams, shots heard on 911 call

By Rene Stutzman and Bianca Prieto, Orlando Sentinel

Listen to 911 Calls:

      1. Trayvon Martin 911 call 1

      2. Trayvon Martin 911 call 2

      3. Trayvon Martin 911 call

Activist asks New Jersey to declare violence a public health crisis

By Ryan Hutchins/The Star-Ledger

ELIZABETH — Salaam Ismial has been trying to put an end to street violence for decades.

At times, he’s been a one-man band, standing alone as he decried the culture of indifference to death that has pervaded the streets of his city, Elizabeth, and so many other urban centers. And, at other moments, he’s built coalitions of fiery politicians, ministers and community leaders to stand by him and his group, the National United Youth Council.

This year, he is building something new. It’s a strategy he believes could really bring about change: He’s asking every county in New Jersey to declare, as the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already have, that violence is a public health crisis. Ismial is calling for public hearings asking counties to empanel commissions to examine the topic.

“It’s totally out of control. Cities are crying out now. They’re overburdened with this problem,” he said last week. “Violence has become more of a culture — and even a way of life — to some of these kids on the street. With no remorse, they’ll go to jail readily, some of them.”

Ismial claimed his first victory last month in Union County, and now he’s hoping to have similar success in Middlesex County. After that, he’ll be on to Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, Mercer, Camden, Hudson, Essex, Passaic and Salem counties. Eventually, he wants to get the participation of all 21 New Jersey counties.
Continue reading Activist asks New Jersey to declare violence a public health crisis

Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders Honor the Work of Salaam Ismial

Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders Honor the Work of Salaam Ismial
and the CDC is also is on Board 2/23/2012
revzech cowhn Freeholder Bette Jane KOWALSKI
and MOHAMED S. JALLOH Talk about the work of Salaam Ismial with Rev Zechariah A Jackson, Officer Donald Johnson

New Jersey County Declares Youth Violence To Be A Public Health Issue

By: David Matthau |
As youth violence continues to get worse and worse, one County in Jersey has adopted a resolution declaring the problem as a “public health issue.”
Continue reading Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders Honor the Work of Salaam Ismial

New Brunswick Residents Rally to Protest Shooting

Residents called for an end to violence in the city and justice for the death of Barry E. Deloatch.
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By Jennifer Bradshaw EBrunswick Patch

Dozens of people gathered outside of New Brunswick city hall Thursday to protest the shooting death of resident Barry E. Deloatch, who was shot and killed by city police officers following a foot pursuit.

Barry E. Deloatch, 47, of New Brunswick was shot and killed in an alley off Throop Avenue, near the intersection of Handy Street, following a foot pursuit by two New Brunswick Police officers around 12:12 a.m.

Deloatch was pronounced dead at 12:37 a.m. Thursday morning at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Continue reading New Brunswick Residents Rally to Protest Shooting


Mark Spivey Staff Writer

LINDEN — Plainfield High School lost two of its students to gun violence in a single school year in 2010-11: Shawane Lovely, a 16-year-old sophomore who had high hopes of one day working in the travel industry, and Spencer Cadogan, a 17-year-old senior who was thinking about joining the military.

About a month ago, 16-year-old Juan Carlos Motijo of Elizabeth was shot and killed in Linden. About a week later, the young person suspected of shooting Motijo took his own life, and about a week after that, 23-year-old Charles Holmes of Linden was fatally shot in Elizabeth.