Advocates will appear in the state’s highest court Wednesday seeking implementation of a process for release from prison similar to the one created in March that resulted in the prompt release of nearly 700 people from county jails.

Virtual arguments will take place before the New Jersey Supreme Court at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 27. The court will hear arguments addressing the need for the state to do more to protect the people who live and work in New Jersey’s state prison system.


Argument before the New Jersey Supreme Court, brought by the ACLU of New Jersey and Office of the Public Defender concerning the release of certain people from prison. Despite Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 124, issued on April 10, which was designed to make certain people incarcerated in the state prison system eligible for release in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey’s prison death is the highest in the nation.


Wednesday, May 27, at 10 a.m.


Alexander Shalom, Director of Supreme Court Advocacy, American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ)

Joseph Krakora, New Jersey Office of the Public Defender (OPD)

Laura Cohen, Rutgers Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic



In March, after an application from the Office of the Public Defender and the ACLU of New Jersey, the Supreme Court approved a consent order that created a process for the release of people serving short sentences in county jails. Almost 700 people were released under that order. On April 8, the OPD and ACLU-NJ filed a similar motion seeking relief for people in prisons. Two days later, Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order designed to address the increasing crisis in state prisons. The Executive Order has not resulted in the release of a significant number of people from prisons.

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