Prieto, Jimenez & Garcia Bill to Help Improve Drug & Alcohol Treatment for Inmates Signed Into Law

Prieto, Jimenez & Garcia Bill to Help Improve Drug & Alcohol Treatment for Inmates Signed Into Law.

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez and Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia to help improve drug and alcohol treatments for inmates as part of their rehabilitation has been signed into law.
The new law requires the Division of Addiction Services to grant residential treatment program licenses to programs operating in state correctional facilities and county jails that meet or substantially meet requirements for licensure.  The purpose of this law is to ensure that these programs are not denied licensure because they are located within a correctional setting.
Previously, a person convicted under federal or state law of any felony or crime that involves the possession, use or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, and who would otherwise be eligible for general public assistance benefits, is ineligible to receive the benefits unless the person has enrolled in or completed a licensed residential drug treatment program.
The new law (A-2295) would ensure that incarcerated individuals who participate in and complete drug treatment programs that meet or substantially meet requirements for licensure as residential programs are not denied eligibility for general public assistance benefits upon release.
“The only thing that sets these drug treatment programs apart from those that are licensed is that they are located within a correctional facility,” said Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen). “If the purpose and scope of the program is the same and an individual has completed the program, then he or she should be able to receive these benefits, which can improve his or her chances of successfully reintegrating into society.”
“This is a matter of fairness. The only thing keeping these programs from benefitting from grants and other benefits, and the offenders they treat, from receiving public assistance upon release is their location,” said Jimenez (D-Hudson/Bergen). “If they meet the licensure requirements, then we should extend them the same benefits we do to others, especially when those treated will be returning to our communities.”
“Giving people a second chance to succeed is vital if we’re going to have an effective corrections system, and part of accomplishing that goal is comprehensive drug treatment,” said Garcia (D-Hudson). “We need to cut out the bureaucracy and make sure we’re doing all we can to help offenders overcome their problems and rebuild their lives. This law is a step in the right direction.”
The law will also make drug treatment programs in correctional facilities – which meet or substantially meet the licensing criteria – eligible for certain grants and additional benefits that now are only available to licensed residential drug treatment programs.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Now if Prieto and Jiminez can do another good thing: Stand UP for your FreeholderChairmen Jose Muñoz, whi is being vindictively targeted by Roque.

    • Pat nobody feels bad for him he’s a big boy lets not forget who put him there in the first place. I’ll give you a hint it surely wasn’t the “people”

      • Patel,
        If I am not mistaken, Freeholder Chairman Sal Vega had that seat but had to give the position up when he became Mayor. Freeholder Chairmen Muñoz has already won at least two elections.

        • Patrick,

          You are right halfway. Munoz was chosen to replace the seat much like Vega was chosen to replace Sires. With that being said Pat, Munoz was given the Democratic line which he benefited from. I would also like to point out that all of this “let the people decide” talk wouldn’t be taking place if he was given the line. There are many people that believe him, but if you look closer you can see that the HCDO only became the “bad guys” when he wasn’t endorsed by them. It is reasonable to believe that they would be “good guys” if they had given the endorsement to Munoz.

          • Patel,
            You are correct, in that Freeholder Muñoz (and I don’t speak for him) would not have to challenge the HCDO line had he been granted it. But there are other dynamics at work here, Patel. No doubt you are aware that the Freeholder’s personal computer was hacked by Roque’s son Joseph. The ONLY reason Roque asked Prieto to select Rodriguez (by the way, Rodriguez was his second choice;he wanted Vega but Sires, who can’t stand Vega interceded so Rodriguez was chosen to appease Sires) to run against Muñoz is because he wanted revenge for Muñoz who helped to uncover the truth by wearing a wire. Prieto, in his selection of Rodriguez over Muñoz interview on HCTV failed to disclose that the Town of WNY(where Roque is Mayor) gave the Assembly Speaker’s son a town job. How about that? Rodriguez has not disparaged Muñoz performance as freeholder because she can’t. Other than for petty political reasons, Patel the refusal to run Muñoz on HCDO line is unwarranted, unjustified.

        • Patrick,

          You speak some truth to your statement. I believe that it has always been the mayors choice of whom he or she wants to run for freeholder (correct me if I’m wrong) I covered the trial quite extensively because I myself am a freelance journalist, I must say that the testimony that Munoz gave are all public documents and I would encourage you to read them. It is easier to lie in every day life but under oath not so much. The truth is the town barely sees Mr Munoz as it is (unless there is an election of some sort) but Patrick I cannot recall the last time he had set up a community event for our children or better yet the residents. It is very easy to go around and pass out flyers and give gifts to voters to persuade them to vote for you. The question remains where was he before the trial had started? If you ask me Pat I think this is all a charade done by him its actually quite genius because the enemy of my enemy is my friend hence why R4BWNY is now with him. Time will tell Patrick but at the end of the day I have the upmost respect for you, and while i am not able to change your mind i do enjoy these friendly debates with you.

          Good Night

          • Hello Patel,
            One reason Freeholder Chairman Muñoz hasn’t been seen kissing babies or cutting ribbons to any tax abated properties given sweetheart deals (not that he would do that) is because he has been forced to respond to his computer being hacked over two years ago, the necessary cooperation with the FBI, the resulting trial, and trial aftermath, with having to defend himself and stand up to spurious accusations. He also has to run every three years, so he has had to use his time doing the job he was elected to do.He, with the Board, created a Freeholder Scholarship to help low income students pay for tuition at HCCC and created the first drug rehab for incarcerated women at HC Correctional Center. He supported Pay to Play legislation to prevent politicians from favoring vendors in exchange for political contributions, Made ethic training mandatory for county employees, administrators and board appountees(now if only WNY officials received that training…) He created a travel policy for elected officials to prevent abuse of tax payers money on unnecessary trips to conferences, etc. BTW, he courageously stood up to the Mayor’s endorsement of the then status quo of appointed bd of ed over an elected board. His working with res4wny and vice versa shows that two great Centers of Reform-Minded activities may occassionally differ on strategy but will ALWAYS put aside small differences in the Cause and Service of the Greater Good. Should most of the well-intentioned Opposition to Mayor Roque do the Same, then the shame of a corrupt ONE TERM administration will sooner be forgotton as WNY’ers come together to pick up the pieces of our shattered fiscal house and restore the good Name and Fortune of Our Beloved West New York.

  2. Just to correct both Mr. Patric and Mr. Patel you’re both wrong. Freeholder Munoz ran for the first time in 2007 with the Stack ticket off the cause Sal Vega ran against Stack and lost and Mr. Cabrera ran against Munoz and lost. Vega and Caberra ran with the HCDO.