South Plainfield Police issued a press release this week regarding a fatal overdose that occurred on 2/12/2017 at the Red Carpet Inn and Suites on Hamilton Boulevard in South Plainfield.

The Press Release (linked below), states officers were summoned to the location by hotel staff after Terrell Jones 33, of Plainfield was found unconscious outside the hotel. Officers arrived, administered Narcan and attempted lifesaving efforts. Jones was taken to the hospital and remained on life support until recently.

New Jersey is no stranger to fatal overdoses, Governor Christie himself will admit that. But what is interesting to note is Jones’ recent arrests. Although the South Plainfield Police press release doesn’t specifically state the nature of the charges other than “Theft and related charges”, they do indicate he was arrested on 02/07/2017 and 02/09/2017. However, usbailreform.com picked up the story and did some investigative work, that story is linked below.

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According to usbailreform.com, it appears that Jones was remanded to county jail on at least one of those charges until 2/11/2017 when he was recommended for pretrial release. Sources affiliated with NJ Law Enforcement Officers Against Bail Reform confirmed, these statistics are accurate. This is a great example of where the PSA fails yet again. The PSA does not take into account alcohol or drug dependence or even the manner in which the present offense was committed (so if he was drug dependent stealing to support his habit). I’m sure Jones was okay with being released, however, had he been remanded in lieu of bail under the old bail system, he may still be alive today.

Addiction is one situation where police officers, bondsmen and maybe even some family members of addicts might agree, sometimes jail is where these individuals need to be for their own well being. While it’s not the ideal place for them, they receive proper medical oversight and treatment while in custody to combat withdrawls, and sometimes depending on the amount of time they spend in jail, it’s enough for them to kick their habit. An addict on the street has access to the drug; in jail they’re not around it, so they have no choice. I’ve seen it more than once in my career; sometimes a short jail stint is enough to get someone to sober up.

Under the old bail system, even if an addict wanted to bond out, concerned family members made the hard decision to leave them behind bars in hopes that maybe they’d sober up. Not anymore.

Maybe if Jones was in jail, he would be alive today. Congratulations on killing your first defendant New Jersey Attorney General's Office, New Jersey Courts and Governor Chris Christie, now is a good time to pat yourselves on the back again for this “great success.”

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