MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ - Sheriff Golden was blunt in his outrage with Governor Murphy's prisoner release program.

The plan called for releasing prisoners to avoid COVID-19 Infections in the prisons. However, under the plan, suspected infected prisoners were able to be released. Prisoners who asked to stay in prison could be forced out. A prisoner has already been rearrested for shoplifting. 

During a press conference last week, Attorney General Grewal defended the measures.

Sign Up for Middletown Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

"I'm a career prosecutor and I take no pleasure in temporarily releasing or suspending county jail sentences." Stated Gruwal, "even for the lowest level inmates that are contemplated by todays consent order but this is the most significant public health crisis we've faced in our states history. When this pandemic concludes I need to be able to look my daughters' in their eyes to say that we took every step possible to help all the residents in this state, including those serving county jail sentences." Stated Grewal. 

Now, after several prisoners are being successfully held back, Golden and others are being praised by legislators who watched it unfold.

In a press release, Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (all R-Monmouth) applauded the NJ Supreme Court’s decision to reverse an order that nearly permitted the release of seven criminals into the public.

“This is a huge win for the rule of law,” said O’Scanlon. “Monmouth should be extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of Prosecutor Gramiccioni and his dedicated team of assistant prosecutors. Thankfully, they, and Sheriff Golden, raised the alarm early about this and worked at a grueling pace to prevent it. This would have been an unmitigated disaster without them.”

Late yesterday, in the reversal, State Supreme Court Justice’s Rabner, LaVecchia, Patterson, Fernandez-Vina, Solomon, and Timpone joined in an order granting the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s emergent application that sought reversal of the Appellate Division permitting the release of prisoners the prosecutor deemed a threat to the public. Only Justice Albin dissented.

Initially, the Court sought to permit a total 62 prisoners to be released from the Monmouth County Jail. The County Prosecutor vehemently opposed 22 over public safety concerns. Over the last week, the Appellate court reversed on only 14 of those prisoners, and the order last night from the State Supreme Court ensured that all 22 were kept in the jail.

“In Monmouth we are fortunate to have these dedicated and extremely competent professionals in our service." Scharfenberger concluded.