COVID-19 has impacted us all in some way or another, and the prison system is no exception. New Jersey prisons were drastically impacted by COVID-19. In fact, according to The Marshall Project, New Jersey prisons have the highest coronavirus death rate in the nation. As a result, new legislature has been passed, allowing some inmates to be released early. Continue reading to find out more about the new law and what makes someone eligible for early release.
Who is Eligible for Early Release?
Prisoners who are eligible for early release have one year or less left on their sentences. For every month a prisoner has spent behind bars during the pandemic, they may have four months knocked off their sentences. Sentences can be reduced by up to eight months. Certain inmates will not be eligible for early release. Those who are not eligible include anyone convicted of murder or aggravated assault. Repetitive, compulsive sex offenders will not be eligible either. Additionally, this law does not apply to those in federal prisons or county jails.
What is Happening in New Jersey Prisons?
Naturally, there is not much room for social distancing inside a crowded prison. As a result, prisoners and prison staff have faced grave consequences. At the time of this writing, at least 52 prisoners, two corrections officers, and one prison nurse have passed away from COVID-19. To help slow the spread of coronavirus, and prevent any additional unnecessary deaths, this new law will dramatically reduce New Jersey’s prison population. This will benefit inmates, prison staff, and local community members who may interact with prison staff members.
Who has Been Released?
This law was passed November 4, making November 4, 2020, the largest single-day prison release in NJ’s recent history. Over 2,000 adult prisoners and 50 juveniles have been released. Officials expect to release 1,000 more inmates by January 2021. Releases will continue on a rolling basis throughout the pandemic.
If you have any questions regarding the new legislature and how it may affect you or a loved one, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of Carl Spector.
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If you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, you need strong legal defense. Contact the Law Office of Carl Spector for dedicated representation. With over 30 years of experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, he offers a unique perspective on how both sides think, and how to best approach each aspect of the case. When your future is on the line, don’t settle for less than the best possible legal representation. Contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight for you. Call today for a free confidential consultation. Let our experience work for you.