Gambling Diversion Court Program: A New Initiative By New Jersey
This year, the state of New Jersey will set up an important example for the entire country by taking up an initiative against problem wagering. A pair of bills within the Senate and Assembly will give rise to a pilot program for the gambling treatment diversion courts within the state.
These courts will have the power to provide treatment and supervision as an alternative option for incarceration to those individuals who are convicted of non-violent crimes. The bicameral efforts carry Bill S3976 for the Senate and A5604 for the Assembly. They are similar contents that will get combined into one single bill later in the process.
What Happens If The Efforts Succeed?
If the bicameral efforts succeed, New Jersey will become the 3rd state within the country to try out such an experiment. The first state was New York which had a pilot project called Amherst, and the program began from 2001. The program came to an end when Judge Mark Farrell, who presided over it, retired in 2013.
This helped in inspiring another similar project in Nevada, which began in 2018 under the leadership of Judge Cheryl Moss. Judge Moss retired last year, but unlike Amherst, the Nevada court didn’t shut it down. The program is currently running under the authority of Chief Judge Linda Bell.
NJ To Become The 1st State With Many Gambling Courts
The initiative made by New Jersey is the most ambitious till date. According to the Assembly Bill, the state will establish not one but a total of three courts. These three courts will be situated in the southern, northern, and central regions of New Jersey. Even though the state allows all the retail casinos within Atlantic City, online gambling is available across the whole state. Bill A5604’s reps and sponsors are Valerie Huttle, Ralph Caputo, Anthony Verrelli, and Daniel Benson.
Statement Issued By Benson, Verrelli, And Caputo
The reps and sponsors of the A5604 Bill provided their statements. They said that it’s essential to help all those suffering from gambling addiction and perpetrating small offenses rather than imprisoning them. They also noted that the three locations within the state would provide services to individuals who applied to the Gambling Treatment Diversion Court Pilot Project. Apart from that, the Bill will provide all those individuals with an essential resource that will help in overcoming all their tribulations.
Everything is currently under process in the statement. The Bill AF604 was originally introduced on May 12th but was replaced by a new one on June 18th. On the other hand, the Senate also appeared at the same time. Both of the bills are currently with their respective Judiciary Committees, and after the committee hearings, the bills will be passed down for revisions, reading, and eventually a vote. Out of the two bills, one would be finalized and eventually passed.