Under an order by New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, up to 1,000 prisoners in the state have been temporarily released in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The two classes of criminals released were those in prison for probation violations and low-level crimes.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and the County Prosecutors Association of the State of New Jersey also signed onto the agreement.
The order allows county prosecutors to challenge the release of inmates. It also suspends their sentences until the coronavirus crisis has passed rather than commute the sentences, but gives judges the discretion whether to order inmates back to jail later or give them credit for time served. (Politico)
“Unprecedented times call for rethinking the normal way of doing things,” ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Singha said in a statement, noting the ACLU was "proud" of New Jersey.
Unprecedented times call for rethinking normal ways of doing things.— ACLU of New Jersey (@ACLUNJ) March 23, 2020
Now, that means releasing people who pose little risk to their communities, recognizing the public health need and the dignity of people who are incarcerated.
We're proud of NJ and proud to have played a role. https://t.co/lcjX3yTxZe
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said it was his responsibility to keep all residents of the state safe.
My top priority is the health and safety of ALL New Jerseyans – including those who are incarcerated.— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 24, 2020
I commend @NewJerseyOAG, county prosecutors, @NJPUBDEF and @ACLUNJ for balancing public health, public safety, and victims’ rights.
The order comes as the state is under a lockdown, which state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal threatening "serious legal consequences" for those who disobey.
Gov Murphy, New Jersey, is letting prisoners out of jail, free to roam where ever they desire, while charging non-criminal citizens with Disorderly Conduct - a $1000 fine, up to 364 days in jail. Democrat Totalitarianism. Citizens will rise up against it! #DemocratCommunism #NJ pic.twitter.com/sSXSInEjA9— Maria (@Maria4America) March 23, 2020