New Study Reveals New Jersey County Jails In Need Of Bail Reform

By Alexandra Hill, WBGO News
April 8, 2013

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A new study released today reveals that New Jersey’s county jails are packed with people who have yet to be found guilty but just can’t afford to post bail.

The study, conducted by the Drug Policy Alliance, finds that 75% of the 15,000 people behind bars on any given day haven’t actually been convicted of anything yet. It also finds that 40% of the men and women in jail have the option to post bail but lack the financial resources to do so. Roseanne Scotti is the Alliance’s New Jersey State Director.

“New Jersey tax payers are paying $40,000 to incarcerate someone or warehouse someone waiting trial simply because that person doesn’t have $500 or $1000 to get out, and we’re talking about thousands of people so ultimately we are talking about millions of dollars.”

Scotti says more and more states are passing bail reform that offers non-monetary alternatives for release while awaiting trial. The New Jersey legislature has introduced similar legislation.


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