Crime Down in New Jersey After Criminal Justice Reform
Article from Reason by Scott Shackford.
New Jersey is about to end its second year using a pretrial court system that has all but stopped using cash bail to decide which defendants can stay out of jail before appearing in court. And guess what? There’s been no spike in crime.
Critics of bail reform say that forcing defendants to commit some money as a condition of pretrial release is why they show up to trial and keep their noses clean beforehand. Mind you, it was primarily the bail bond industry making this claim, because it has a financial stake in maintaining cash bail. But they weren’t the only ones worried about what would happen to the crime rate when New Jersey allowed more people to remain free before trial.
Thankfully, New Jersey is not seeing an increase in crime. In fact, it’s seeing the exact opposite. Stats collected over the past two years show a significant drop in crime across many major categories. The New Jersey Star-Ledger comparedthe violent crime numbers from the first nine months of 2016 to the first nine months of 2018 and found a 30-percent drop. Homicides, rapes, robberies, assaults, and burglaries are all on the decline.
Over this same timespan, New Jersey’s pretrial jail population has dropped by 40 percent.
Read the entire article at Reason.
Image Credit: By St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons