Recently on this blog I explored how states are looking at prison crowding, the enormous price tag for incarceration and the early release of prisoners, or not incarcerating non-violent offenders at all. My blog yesterday at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/Ispo Facto took a look at measures in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
However, before states start moving on the prison issue policymakers should look to another Pennsylvania border state, New Jersey. Lawmakers there moved toward eliminating the controversial early-release program, which allowed some inmates out of prison six months ahead of schedule, according to the Star-Ledger.
The program had been sold as a cost-savings measure. Since January 3, 363 inmates have been released early, according to the Parole Board. Twenty-two been arrested for new crimes. That includes Antoine Trent, 25, and Tyree Brown, 24, who were accused of attacking a police officer in Union Township last week, reported the Star-Ledger.
Another former inmate, Quamere Redding, 19, has been charged with attacking and robbing a 49-year-old woman earlier this month in Bridgeton. Governor Christie blames at least two murders on offenders granted early release.
All three of them had been denied parole before being released early through the program, according to Parole Board Executive Director David Thomas.
"There are no more excuses left," Governor Christie's spokesman Michael Drewniak said in a statement. "The Assembly must act immediately to repeal this dangerous failure of a law."
To read more: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/04/nj_lawmakers_near_vote_on_elim.html