TRENTON, NJ – If you have been following the news, few people in New Jersey can figure out what Governor Phil Murphy’s early prison release endgame is. During the pandemic, Murphy claimed it was to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state’s correctional facilities, but now as the COVID-19 pandemic morphs into an endemic, Murphy is still releasing hundreds of inmates early under his COVID-19 program.
New Jersey Senator Michael Testa, a Republican said it’s all party of Murphy’s pre-planned progressive agenda disguised as COVID-19 health and safety measures.
Today, Testa warned that Governor Phil Murphy’s early release of thousands of inmates under the guise of the pandemic might be part of a larger plan to justify a permanent reduction of New Jersey’s prison capacity.
“I’ve spoken to corrections officers and union leaders who were convinced even before the pandemic that the Department’s failure to repair and upgrade infrastructure at Southern State and Bayside State prisons was a sign that the Murphy administration was looking to close portions of those facilities,” said Testa (R-1). “Governor Murphy’s early pandemic release of nearly 900 additional inmates this week certainly makes it look like he’s trying to empty our prisons.”
According to reports, the New Jersey Department of Correction (DOC) released 852 inmates on Sunday under an early release program initiated by Governor Murphy during the pandemic that shortened sentences through “public health emergency credits.” The Democrat-controlled Legislature rubber-stamped the policy, which some now regret.
In total, the Murphy administration has provided an early release to more than 6,200 inmates.
“This latest release comes after 40% of the state prison population was released back into New Jersey communities under the administration’s early release policy in 2020 and 2021,” Testa said.
One of the inmates Murphy released early was charged with killing two people at a birthday party, while another was charged with killing someone within a half-mile of his prison just two days after being set free.
“We’ve already seen the proof that it was a tragic mistake for Governor Murphy to free masses of dangerous prisoners back into our communities,” added Testa. “It would be another mistake for the Murphy administration to permanently eliminate the cells and prisons we’ll need when Murphy’s misfits are incarcerated again, which is inevitable.”