The ACLU-NJ applauded the announcement that Gov. Murphy would sign an executive order allowing some people incarcerated in New Jersey’s state prisons to leave on furloughs, home confinement, and release, among other provisions. The ACLU-NJ called on the governor to take further action to protect the vast majority of prisoners, who will not be affected by this executive order, and urged him to make this only the first step of many regarding people in New Jersey’s prisons during the COVID-19 crisis.

The following statement can be attributed to ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha:

“The action that Governor Murphy takes today, initiating the release of certain people from state prisons to stem the virulent COVID-19 pandemic, if done right, will save lives. With this step, New Jersey can become one of the leaders showing that public health is a critical part of public safety. Governor Murphy has recognized that we’re facing incalculable tragedy if we don’t act. We sincerely hope the details and implementation of this executive order match its potential for good.

“To know that New Jersey did all we could while there still was time, the state must take steps to allow as many of us as possible to keep social distance – and to provide as many people as possible with the opportunity to do so. Today’s executive order is a strong first step. We hope that the governor and the Department of Corrections will continue to prioritize the health of people that live and work in correctional facilities. This will make us all safer.”