Being held in custody of the correctional system is a serious situation.
For those who have never been arrested or kept in jail it might be easy
to ignore the fear and shame that suspects face when detained.
So when lawmakers propose to keep more
New Jersey violent crime suspects in jail by limiting their access to bail opportunities, that proposal
must be thoroughly debated. The fear of potential repeat offenses by suspects
is understandable, but fear alone can't drive legislation.
A group of New Jersey Assembly Republicans propose that bail reform should
be passed in the state for suspects of violent crimes. More specifically,
the lawmakers want it put to a public vote whether bail should be denied
to certain criminal defendants whom are deemed dangerous and supposedly
likely to reoffend while free on bail.
Supporting the legislators' proposal is research that shows one in
six criminal suspects who is out on bail reoffends. But when logic is
applied to that that statistic, doesn't it suggest that the vast majority
of suspects do not reoffend while out on bail?
The basic purpose of bail is to allow criminal defendants to remain out
of jail until they are actually convicted of a crime. Being in the custody
of the system isn't like having an overnight in a motel. Taking away
a person's freedom, even if he is accused of a crime, should only
be done with the utmost care.
Bail reform, if passed, could threaten the ideology that a person is innocent
until proven guilty. It could also lead to overcrowded correctional facilities
and excessive expenses to keep suspects locked up before they've been
found guilty of anything.
When there is a development in this matter we will post an update.
Source: The Ocean County Signal, "NJ Assemblymen Introduce Bail Reform Bill to Curb Violence," Greg Volpe, Feb. 19, 2013