WHYY – New Jersey prisoners are dying of COVID-19 at a higher rate than in any other state, but the administration of Gov. Phil Murphy has released just a small fraction of those eligible for home confinement under an executive order he signed more than a month ago. 45 inmates have died in New Jersey’s prison systems to date of COVID-19.
My Administration’s top priority is the health and safety of all nine million New Jerseyans, including those who are currently incarcerated,” said Governor Murphy at the time of the release. “The correctional setting presents unique challenges to social distancing, particularly for vulnerable populations. Allowing some of our most vulnerable individuals who do not pose a public safety threat to temporarily leave prison will protect both their health, and the health and safety of the men and women working in our correctional facilities. With this action, New Jersey will join several other states, and the federal government, in taking necessary steps to strike a balance between public health, public safety, and victims’ rights.”