Governor Murphy Signs Criminal Justice Reform Bills | What do I Need to Know?

On October 19, Governor Murphy signed three criminal justice bills that are focused on sentencing reform. The three bills come from recommendations that were made by the Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission’s November 2019 report. The goals of these bills are to establish a compassionate release program for inmates diagnosed with a “grave medical condition,” add a defendant’s young age to a list of considered factors when sentencing a person, and require a cost savings study of compassionate release programs and the elimination of mandatory minimums. Continue reading below to learn more.

What are the Three Bills?

The three bills signed by Governor Murphy are as follows:

  • Bill A2370 repeals the state’s existing medical parole statue. It also replaces it with “compassionate release.” This allows inmates to be released from prison if they are suffering from a terminal medical condition or permanent physical incapacity. Under this bill, the inmate’s attorney must be notified when a client is diagnosed with a “grave medical condition,” allowing them to petition for compassionate release.
  • Bill A4373 allows a court to consider a person’s age as a factor when they are being sentenced. This is in place for those who are under the age of 26 at the time the offense was committed. 
  • Bill A4371 requires the DOC and the Treasury and the State Parole Board to conduct an annual cost savings study of compassionate release programs and mandatory minimum reforms. The sentencing commission anticipates reforms would generate cost savings over time. These would be deposited into a newly created “Corrections Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention Fund” to support recidivism reduction programs and other programs to support inmates as they reenter society.

Speaking on the signings, Governor Murphy said, “Our administration has been committed to criminal justice reform since day one, and we have taken many steps to address the wide disparities present in our justice system.”

Contact our Firm

Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.

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