This is a press release from Essex County. Press releases are official statements that have not been independently verified.
The Essex County Correctional Facility Civilian Task Force will host a public hearing on Thursday, November 12th. The focus of this public hearing will be on addiction treatment, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and mental health services available at the Essex County Correctional Facility.
Due to the increase in COVID-19 transmission in New Jersey and to promote social distancing, the meeting will be held remotely as follows:
Date: Thursday, November 12, 2020
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
The hearing will be provided via a YouTube link, and a recording of the hearing will be available on either the Essex County Civilian Task Force YouTube Channel or The Essex County Civilian Task Force Facebook Page.
“The Task Force is committed to thoroughly and rigorously examining how the Correctional Facility treats inmates and detainees coping with addiction and mental health issues. Our upcoming hearing will focus on how best to ensure and enhance the health and wellbeing of the persons we serve,” Task Force Chairman and Former Governor Jim McGreevey said.
During the hearing, Task Force members will be interviewing relevant ECCF staff and gathering information, which will ultimately inform the items of inquiry addressed by the Task Force. Panelists include ECCF Medical Director Dr. Lionel Anicette will discuss medical care and MAT, ECCF Deputy Director William Anderson will discuss MAT, ECCF Social Services Director Deirdre White will discuss addictive services programming, ECCF Mental Health Director Dr. Dennis Sandrock will discuss mental health and MAT Coordinator to the Task Force Pascale Augustine will discuss MAT.
This is the second of three public hearing scheduled this fall by the Civilian Task Force. The first meeting was held in September and focused on the medical services provided at the ECCF.
Those wishing to contact the Civilian Task Force, submit a complaint, want more information about the public hearing or would like to leave hearing questions should send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 973 877-8037. For more information about the Task Force, visit www.essexcountynj.org/corrections/ and click on the link for the “Civilian Task Force.”
The intent of the nine-member task force is to provide “transparency and accountability” of the ECCF staff, to protect the “lives, health, safety and rights of all people confined at the ECCF” and ensure the “conditions of their confinement are safe, sanitary, respectful and humane,” according to language in the ordinance. It will act independently of County government and have the authority to inspect the ECCF, interview corrections officers, inmates, detainees, and review systematic issues and concerns.
Members of the Task Force were nominated by Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and appointed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders in June through an established advice and consent procedure that is used to fill vacancies on all county boards and commissions.