Law & Justice

Monmouth Prosecutor’s Office Releases Nine-Month Report under New Bail Reform Law

FREEHOLD, NJ — The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has released statistical results for the first nine months under New Jersey’s new bail reform system, which replaces monetary bail in most cases with a risk-based approach.

The county issued 3,315 complaint warrants on 2,383 defendants from January through September. Also, 3,661 charges were placed on summonses, rather than the more-serious complaint warrants during that nine-month period.

The prosecutor’s office filed for detention on 489 defendants —225 of whom were detained by the court. To date, 30 defendants were released on conditions with the office’s consent after withdrawing its motions to detain.

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There were 198 defendants released on pretrial conditions over the office’s objection, according to the report.

At this time, 55 defendants have had violations of conditions filed against them, which could result in pretrial detention or increased pretrial release conditions at a later court date.

Taking effect on January 1, 2017, the Bail Reform and Speedy Trial Act represents one of the most dramatic changes to the state’s criminal justice system in many years. It shifts New Jersey from a system that relied principally on monetary bail to a risk-based system that is based on a defendant’s danger to the community and risk of flight. Additionally, defendants have a right to a speedy trial under the new law.

One of the first of its kind in the nation, the system is designed to be more objective and fair to persons accused of minor crimes who, under the old system, remained in jail because they were unable to pay bail. Judges now are allowed to set different release conditions, based on the perceived risk posed by the defendant.

Monmouth County will release its first full-year report under the new reform measures in January 2018.

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