NJSBA urges reliable funding for criminal justice reform measures

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May 15, 2018
Contact: Paula Saha
Director of Communications
732-214-8509
   
NEW BRUNSWICK - The association wrote a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders asking him to include dedicated funds, rather than rely on court fees, in the budget to pay for the increased obligations of criminal justice reforms enacted four years ago making it a leader in the nation.
   
"Fours years ago, New Jesey became a national model for criminal justice reform, trading in a cash bail system that let defendants who could afford bail go free pending trial in exchange for a system that evaluates a defendant's risk to the community in making a decision about pretrial release.
   
Today, other states are recognizigin the forward thinking of that courageous move and are looking to enact similar reforms. However, our innovative approach may be at risk. According to statistics from the Judiciary, the New Jersey system could be in financial jeopardy by 2020. That's largely because it is currently finded through court filing fees, and there are decreasing revenues from court filings, leaving the courts unable to keep pace with the program's expenses. The New Jersey State Bar Association urges you to keep the program intact by including funding for criminal justice reform as a part of regular state appropriations, rather than continue to rely on court filing fees to sustain the program in the future."
   
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