NewsNational

Actions

New Jersey launches new clemency program for certain offenders

The initiative is meant to address racial injustice and improve a parole system that makes it challenging for offenders to get back on their feet once they leave prison.
1455840617.jpg
Posted at
and last updated

New Jersey's Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced a new state clemency program Wednesday that will allow some young and nonviolent offenders to apply for release from incarceration.

Gov. Murphy announced the program as part of commemorations during the Juneteenth holiday.

"We, and I, are looking for individuals who have been rehabilitated or who could be giving back to their communities, but are instead being unjustly held back by our criminal justice system," Gov. Murphy said in Newark. "I am going to use my clemency powers as governor to remedy these injustices."

The initiative is meant to address racial injustice and improve a parole system that makes it challenging for offenders to get back on their feet once they leave prison. A parole board will be reviewing cases and giving Gov. Murphy guidance on parole decisions.

The system will review cases from people who only offended once before they were 25 years old, nonviolent offenders who have served most of their sentence, victims of sexual trafficking and violence who committed crimes against abusers, and people who got long sentences during the war on drugs.

New Jersey has launched a state website to manage the clemency process, where people can apply to have their cases reviewed online or by mail.

Related stories:
More states pushing 'Clean Slate' legislation to clear former convicts