Bail Industry Battles Reforms That Threaten Its Livelihood

"A little more than a year ago, New Jersey all but eliminated cash bail for criminal defendants, except for those charged with certain violent offenses.

Since the reforms took effect Jan. 1, 2017, the county jail population is down 16 percent, says then-attorney general Christopher Porrino, who left office on Jan. 16 when the new governor was sworn in. And preliminary numbers show a 5 percent decrease in violent crime over the year.

The reforms, Porrino says, address two problems: First, that violent repeat offenders were often able to buy their way out of jail; and second, that low-level, nonviolent offenders often languished in jail because they didn’t have the means to post bail."


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