New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced he is signing an executive order allowing the possible release of some low-risk, vulnerable inmates in the prison system in the wake of the pandemic.
Under this order, low-risk inmates whose age or health status puts them at risk, who have been denied parole within the last year or whose sentences are set to expire in the next three months “may be” – and he stresses “may be” – placed on temporary home confinement or granted parole if already eligible, through an expedited process, Murphy said.
No one convicted of a serious crime, such as murder or sex assault, will be eligible for consideration, he said.
A “robust” process will help determine whether an individual is eligible and each will have an individualized release plan addressing housing and medical services.
“No one who cannot meet these standards will be released,” he said. All under home confinement will be subject to Department of Corrections supervision, he said.
“We have dual or twin responsibilities here. Protecting those who work in our prisons, and those who are incarcerated,” he added.
Social distancing is “extremely hard to accomplish in a prison setting” Murphy added and “allowing some of our most vulnerable individuals who do not pose a public safety threat to temporarily leave prison will protect both their health and the health and safety of the men and women working in our correctional facilities”