TRENTON, NJ – A bill in the New Jersey legislature would allow for more than 3,000 prisons held in custody in prisons across the state to be released to protect them from COVID-19. According to a report today in the New York Times, “Inmates who are within a year of completing their state prison sentences would be eligible to be released up to eight months early based on credits awarded for time served during the pandemic.”
In New Jersey, the prison death rate is higher than any other state in America, with 27 deaths per 10,000 inmates. Nearly 1,000 inmates have already been released from prison in New Jersey under an executive order issued by Governor Phil Murphy.
Under the proposed bill, inmates who are within one year of finishing their sentence would be eligible to be released up to eight months earlier than their sentence determined. Sexual offenders would not be eligible for early release. Murderers and those who committed other violent crimes would be eligible.