MORRISTOWN, NJ - On the morning of Sunday, February 11th 2018, Governor Phil Murphy held a press conference at the Messiah Baptist Church in East Orange to announce that he was going to reconvene the New Jersey Criminal Justice Sentencing and Disposition Commission. Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp and MCPO Detective Patrick LaGuerre, formerly a member of the East Orange Police Department, were in attendance.
This Commission was established by statute in 2004 on a temporary basis, and became permanent in June of 2006 when a report was issued. It is comprised of 13 members, including the Attorney General of New Jersey and four members of the New Jersey Legislature. Governor Murphy named Deborah Poritz, former Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, as well as Jiles Ship, past President of NOBLE (The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives), a former police officer in Edison and member of the New Jersey Police Training Commission, as his two gubernatorial choices.
As the President of the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey, Prosecutor Knapp, is Ex Officio one of the 13 members of this Commission. He will also be joined by representatives from the New Jersey State Bar Association, Public Defender’s Office, Department of Corrections, and the Chair of the State Parole Board.
The general purpose of the Commission is to, “consider correctional resources, including, but not limited to, the capacities of State and Local correctional facilities, in promulgating sentencing policy; examine past sentencing practices, consider their rationality, and establish a list of ‘sentencing factors’ which would either guide, or limit judges in assessing sentences for individual offenders; and seek to establish uniform sentences throughout the jurisdiction”.
No date has yet been scheduled for the Commission to meet. Prosecutor Knapp stated that he is honored to serve as the CPANJ representative on the Commission and looks forward to this opportunity.