NJ Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee Votes to Fix New Jersey’s Broken Parole System
Statement from Roseanne Scotti of the Drug Policy Alliance
Trenton, NJ – Today, the New Jersey Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee voted 4-3 in support of restoring fairness and transparency to New Jersey’s parole system. The legislation (A1986/S761) rewards good behavior and encourages rehabilitation by allowing for the release of low-risk individuals from prison after they have served their basic sentence, provided they commit no serious disciplinary infractions while incarcerated and participate in rehabilitation programs. Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, issued the following statement after today’s important vote.
“We are thrilled that the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee advanced legislation to fix New Jersey’s broken parole system today. Over the last three decades, New Jersey has seen a dramatic increase in the use of prisons for nonviolent offenses, with the state’s prison population rising from 8,000 to more than 20,000 individuals. Moreover, New Jersey also has one of the highest “max out” rates in the country, leading to many individuals being released without the support or supervision needed to successfully reintegrate into the community.”
“Incarcerating low-risk individuals, beyond the time needed to reduce recidivism and ensure public safety, is wasteful and ineffective. This legislation will save taxpayer money, promote public safety and strengthen communities by encouraging rehabilitation and successful prisoner reentry.”
“We applaud Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter for her leadership on this legislation, and look forward to working with her to move the bill through the Assembly and onto Governor Murphy’s desk.”
For more background on the New Solutions Campaign’s work to fix New Jersey’s broken parole system, visit http://www.drugpolicy.org/newsolutionsnj.