How has the global coronavirus pandemic impacted your life? The majority of us have experienced a drastic reduction in our freedoms. Suddenly, we’re not allowed to move around freely in our own towns, attend school, or even go to work.
For others, though, the coronavirus pandemic means an opportunity to leave jail and return to their own homes after being arrested or convicted of a crime. How is the coronavirus pandemic resulting in a smaller jail population? Why is releasing prisoners from jail beneficial for all of us? Learn why New Jersey lawmakers decided to release over 1,000 inmates during the crisis below.
Flattening the Curve by Freeing Inmates in NJ
Can you imagine what would happen if Covid-19 started spreading unchecked in the prison system? Our country’s ‘flatten the curve’ mantra would be of no use if outbreaks continued to occur in prisons throughout the country.
One solution to preventing a mass outbreak, according to experts, is to reduce the jail population by freeing certain inmates. This effort is a form of social distancing that inmates can help with.
Who is Eligible for Release?
Inmates who are immediately eligible to be considered for release include:
- Low-level offenders
- Those accused of non-violent crimes
- Individuals awaiting trial
- Inmates who are elderly, disabled or have pre-existing conditions
- Inmates who have a place to go (friends, family or a residence)
Inmates with nowhere to go will still be held in jail for the time being. Similarly, those who are in jail for violent offenses won’t have an opportunity to seek release at this time.
This unprecedented measure has been taken due to the virus, but many progressives have been pushing for this type of action for years. The majority of individuals being released could, hypothetically, serve out their respective sentences at home without putting any extra burden on jails. After this crisis ends, judges in New Jersey will have to make the difficult decision of either telling the inmates to return to jail or allowing them to continue an at-home probation period. Either way, their sentences are being suspended for the time being.
Contact an Experienced Camden Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Criminal Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with a crime in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case who can help you with expungements. The Law Offices of Michele Finizio have successfully represented clients charged with a crime in Camden, Cherry Hill, Medford, and Pemberton, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-242-7300 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 9 E. Main St., Moorestown, NJ 08057.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.