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Criminal Justice System Reform in New Jersey

On Behalf of | May 4, 2017 | Criminal Law |

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie strives to implement new measures to overhaul the current criminal justice system

According to the New Jersey State Police, in 2014 there were more than 155,000 nonviolent crimes reported. This accounted for 87% of total crimes. These statistics illustrate how prevalent nonviolent crimes are and also highlight a significant opportunity to introduce new, and more effective, methods of crime prevention. Just last month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie highlighted how his administration plans to combat nonviolent crimes with increased efforts at rehabilitation and education.

Drug crimes, in particular, account for a vast majority of arrests and convictions throughout the state and entire country. Recidivists, or repeat offenders, are also prevalent and further highlight the need for criminal justice reform. Rather than repeatedly sending offenders back to jail, there is a renewed focus on providing resources and assistance for crime prevention. One of the primary ways to prevent drug crimes is to emphasize the importance of seeking treatment for addiction. The state plans to devote substantial money to a new advertising campaign highlighting the dangers of drugs, particularly opioids, to spread awareness of the dangers of drug abuse. In addition, this campaign also provides underscores various programs available to treat addition.

While providing awareness and education about drug abuse is important, there are also improvements that must be made within the criminal justice system to help convicted offenders regain their liberty and contribute to society. After an offender has served their time, they are often unable to obtain gainful employment due to their criminal record. Improvements to the expungement process can make it easier for nonviolent offenders to get a job. In 2014, Governor Christie signed a bill commonly referred to as the “ban the box” bill. This bill requires employers to run background checks after making an offer of employment. While this bill is still undergoing improvements, it is a step in the right direction in removing the stigma attached to many convicted felons.

A criminal conviction on your record often negatively impacts your personal and professional life for many years after your initial crime. While the criminal justice system is undergoing many important and valuable changes, it is still important to have an experienced advocate on your side to protect your rights. At Lomurro Law, our highly skilled and tenacious New Jersey attorneys know what it takes to successfully defend against seemingly insurmountable charges. To discuss your options, contact us online or call 732-482-9285.