New Jersey Senator Drew on Bail Reform: “We Have to Get This Right”


 

TRENTON, New Jersey – Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1st) issued the following statement May 5 on bail reform, following a discussion of the issue May 4 during the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee review of the FY18 budget for the Judiciary:

“I’ve heard from law enforcement, county freeholders and mayors who have a lot of concerns about the new system under bail reform. The cost of administering the reforms is a major concern to counties. The larger issue is about public safety and the concern that dangerous individuals are being released to commit additional crimes.

“I voted for this reform because I thought it was the right thing to do, but we have to make sure it is working in a way that keeps the most dangerous offenders off the streets before trial.

“This is literally an issue of life or death for the public. There was a good deal of discussion during the hearing of the algorithm used to assess those charged with a crime to determine eligibility for release, and that is the critical component to this process.

“But when we talk about an offender being released before trial and committing a brutal crime, the real-life impact is enormous. I was pleased to hear that the judiciary is taking a close look at this issue to determine what changes may need to be made.

“The bottom line is that we have to be as careful and circumspect as we can possibly be. We have to get this right.”

 

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