Today, the New Jersey State Senate passed two measures to reform the state’s bail system, S 946 and SCR 128. The bill passed 28-5 and the resolution passed 30-0. The Assembly is expected to consider companion legislation on Monday, Aug. 4.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey issues the following statement in response to the Senate’s vote today:
“The Senate's passage of landmark bail system reform legislation today puts New Jersey on the precipice of a historic civil rights achievement. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) strongly supports overhauling our deeply flawed system of pretrial release and incarceration. This reform would help end a long-standing injustice faced by poor people and disproportionately by people of color who are often held in jail for months, or even years, because they are poor, not because they are dangerous or likely to flee.
The ACLU-NJ urges the Assembly to join the Senate and promptly pass this bail reform legislation and accompanying resolution. Enactment of this package will finally enable New Jersey to shift our bail system away from a money-based system to a risk-based one, and will establish the statutory right to a speedy trial for defendants. That will be a tremendous victory for civil rights, racial justice, and the safety of New Jersey's communities.”