Why New Jersey Prison Populations Have Seriously Declined
While crime worldwide has decreased, New Jersey has seen the biggest decline in inmate population in the country.
Back in 2013, there were a total of 21,123 prison inmates in New Jersey which has now dropped more than 15% with the current total at 19,619 inmates.
However, executive director of The Sentencing Project, a Washington-based criminal justice reform group, Marc Mauer attributes the change of the inmates' population to two major facets.
The first major affect is New Jersey's creation of drug courts that avoid sending those caught with illegal substances to prison, especially non-violent first time offenders who originally would have been sent to jail had there not been a change in the system. Those incarcerated for drug offenses is now the least common offense seen among inmates.
Second, there has been a new parole system put into place that avoids sending previous inmates back behind bars when a minor infraction is made on their parole. Instead of simply punishing them, they are now sent to a workshop to try and discover the root of the rule being broken.
Changes such as these can only benefit the community because what good is sending someone to jail every time they have a run in with the law? There is usually a deeper reason behind why they get involved in the world that they do the entire issue needs to be addressed at the source as opposed to solely at their actions that are made after the fact.
Check out a closer breakdown of the statistics at the original article at NJ.com.