State of New Jersey
Executive Order #58

Governor Christine Todd Whitman

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey seeks to preserve the safety of its neighborhoods and communities while recognizing the rights of persons at State psychiatric facilities who have been found to be criminally insane; and

WHEREAS, recent events at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital evidence a need to assess the manner in which the State houses and handles the criminally insane;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. The creation of the Task Force for the Review of the Treatment of the Criminally Insane (hereinafter "Task Force") to study the current practices employed by State psychiatric facilities in housing and handling the criminally insane.

2. The Task Force shall be composed of the Attorney General or his designee; the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services or his designee; a designee of the New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice; a Senator to be appointed by the Senate President; an Assembly member to be appointed by the Assembly Speaker; and not more than five members of the public appointed by the Governor who may be professionals or advocates experienced in the field of either criminal justice or mental health. The Governor shall designate a chairman and vice-chairman of the Task Force from among the members of the Task Force. The members shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties subject to the availability of funds therefor. The Department of Human Services and all other State departments and agencies are hereby directed, to the extent not inconsistent with law and within budgetary constraints, to cooperate with the Task Force and to furnish it with such information, personnel and assistance as are necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order.

3. The Task Force is charged with considering such issues as security at State psychiatric facilities and the rights of patients and persons who reside nearby. Among the issues the Task Force will consider are community notification of the identity of patients who leave hospital grounds who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, and whether the current practice of housing the criminally insane with the general facility population is appropriate. The Task Force shall also identify possible options for the housing and handling of the criminally insane.

4. The Task Force shall complete its study and report to the Governor within six months of the date the Task Force first convenes.

5. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this 12th day of September in the
Year of Our Lord, One Thousand
Nine Hundred and Ninety Six, and
of the Independence of the United
States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-First.

/s/ Christine Todd Whitman


/s/ Michael P. Torpey
Chief Counsel to the Governor