Bail Reform and Cops: “If you can’t trust a Cop, who can you trust?”

In case you haven’t heard, New Jersey implemented their version of bail reform in the form of the Criminal Justice Reform Act – which began Jan 1 2017.  So what do COPS think of bail reform?

It didn’t take long for bail reform to get under the skins of police officers in New Jersey.

The revolving door and catch and release of offenders is a tough pill to swallow when you’re the one on the front line dealing with offenders, consoling the victims, and typing the reports.

Shortly after bail reform was implemented, a Facebook page “NJ Law Enforcement Officers Against Bail Reform” popped up.  It didn’t take long for the page to gain almost 2,000 followers (and we suspect it will keep growing).

After verifying the legitimacy of the page (yep, they are real cops), we too began to follow the page and what the officers had to say.

We encourage you too to visit their page to give you another side of bail reform you may have not seen…right from the front line.

Here are some of their recent posts…


February 21:

I’ll leave this here for all members of the public to view. This is the old Bail Schedule; this is what judges had to use when setting bail under the old system.  Each specific criminal statute had a specific monetary bail amount… didn’t matter if you were rich or poor. So, now anytime you see a press release and the charges are listed, feel free to look at the bail schedule to see what the bail would have been under the old system. I also saved all of these court documents so if the State decides to take them down, I can easily repost.


April 19:

Today I went to a residential burglary. The victim asked what would happen if an arrest is made. So, I took the opportunity to talk to and educate the victim about Bail Reform… her response: “well what rights DO I have… what rights do ANY victims have? Is that all they care about? Protecting criminals?!!!”
Well what say you Governor Chris Christie Steve Sweeney ACLU of New Jersey New Jersey Courts


March 8:

Bail Reform Killed Terrell Jones

South Plainfield Police issued a press release today regarding a fatal overdose that occurred on 2/12/2017 at the Red Carpet Inn and Suites on Hamilton Boulevard in South Plainfield.
The Press Release (linked below), states officers were summoned to the location by hotel staff after Terrell Jones 33, of Plainfield was found unconscious outside the hotel. Officers arrived, administered Narcan and attempted lifesaving efforts. Jones was taken to the hospital and remained on life support until recently.
New Jersey is no stranger to fatal overdoses, Governor Christie himself will admit that. But what is interesting to note is Jones’ recent arrests. Although the South Plainfield Police press release doesn’t specifically state the nature of the charges other than “Theft and related charges”, they do indicate he was arrested on 02/07/2017 and 02/09/2017. However, usbailreform.com picked up the story and did some investigative work, that story is linked below.
According to usbailreform.com, it appears that Jones was remanded to county jail on at least one of those charges until 2/11/2017 when he was recommended for pretrial release. Sources affiliated with NJ Law Enforcement Officers Against Bail Reform confirmed, these statistics are accurate. This is a great example of where the PSA fails yet again. The PSA does not take into account alcohol or drug dependence or even the manner in which the present offense was committed (so if he was drug dependent stealing to support his habit). I’m sure Jones was okay with being released, however, had he been remanded in lieu of bail under the old bail system, he may still be alive today.
Addiction is one situation where police officers, bondsmen and maybe even some family members of addicts might agree, sometimes jail is where these individuals need to be for their own well being. While it’s not the ideal place for them, they receive proper medical oversight and treatment while in custody to combat withdrawls, and sometimes depending on the amount of time they spend in jail, it’s enough for them to kick their habit. An addict on the street has access to the drug; in jail they’re not around it, so they have no choice. I’ve seen it more than once in my career; sometimes a short jail stint is enough to get someone to sober up.
Under the old bail system, even if an addict wanted to bond out, concerned family members made the hard decision to leave them behind bars in hopes that maybe they’d sober up. Not anymore.
Maybe if Jones was in jail, he would be alive today. Congratulations on killing your first defendant New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, New Jersey Courts and Governor Chris Christie, now is a good time to pat yourselves on the back again for this “great success.”

April 14:

The AG is asking the AOC to make changes to bail reform. Accountability needs to be brought back to criminal justice. Of course the ACLU isn’t happy…


April 13:
Charged with Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Handgun, Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons (convicted felon), Terroristic Threats. RELEASED with a monitor.. cuts it off, fails to appear.. what a shocker.. Of course the ACLU of New Jersey would just call this political grandstanding. New Jersey Courts this is a failure. #thePSAisgarbage#shouldhavebeenlockedup (we will also throw in a plug about NJ’s great gun laws here, punishing the law abiding but this guy still had one… and got released)

April 10:

THE OLD COURT RULES FOR SETTING BAIL 3:26-1:
The factors to be considered in setting bail are:
(1) the seriousness of the crime charged against defendant, the apparent likelihood of conviction, and the extent of the punishment prescribed by the Legislature;
(2) defendant’s criminal record, if any, and previous record on bail, if any;
(3) defendant’s reputation, and mental condition;
(4) the length of defendant’s residence in the community;
(5) defendant’s family ties and relationships; (6) defendant’s employment status, record of employment, and financial condition;
(7) the identity of responsible members of the community who would vouch for defendant’s reliability;
(8) any other factors indicating defendant’s mode of life, or ties to the community or bearing on the risk of failure to appear, and, particularly, the general policy against unnecessary sureties and detention. In its discretion the court may order the release of a person on that person’s own recognizance.

Seems fair enough, and it worked! Not saying it was flawless, but at least there was accountability on both sides!


April 9:

If you’re truly a supporter of bail reform and the reasoning behind it (keeping nonviolent offenders out of jail and violent offenders in), then you should be asking why Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey Courts and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office have implemented the Laura and John Arnold Foundation‘s Public Safety Assessment (PSA) to determine the fate of defendants.
This system is so flawed that it undervalues vital information and overvalues petty information when calculating a PSA score. This is resulting more nonviolent offenders, like shoplifters being incarcerated at a much higher rate than actual violent offenders who pose a risk to public safety.
If you really support the idea of bail reform, you should be furious.


You’ve been LIED to New Jersey…NJ Bail Reform is RECKLESS, DANGEROUS, and YOU are PAYING for it.


 

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