In response to "Did Bail Reform Kill Terrell Jones?" posted on March 8:

There are a lot of things we can blame for Terrell Jones’ death, but bail reform isn’t one of them. Lack of access to treatment however should be at the top of the list.

Being caged behind bars is not an appropriate response to people with substance use issues and law enforcement officials have long recognized the damage that jail can have on this population.

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In fact, to better respond to these individuals and to help save lives, law enforcement agencies in New Jersey have begun to implement diversion programs to connect people to treatment rather than put them in jail.

If we really want to talk about what could have saved Terrell Jones’ life, we should also talk about the need for expanded access to naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote. This life-saving medication should be distributed to all individuals at risk for overdose upon their release from jail.

The overdose crisis has destroyed countless families in New Jersey. In order to prevent more needless deaths we must focus on the real causes of the crisis—bail reform is not one of them.    

Alexandra Staropoli

Policy Manager, New Jersey

Drug Policy Alliance