TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Shirley K. Turner and Nicholas P. Scutari to create a municipal court-based conditional dismissal program, giving municipal judges the same ability as state judges to assign certain offenders to pre-trial intervention programs rather than jail was approved today by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“A criminal record can cause joblessness and homelessness that leads to a cycle of crime,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer/Hunterdon. “New Jersey Superior Court’s pre-trial intervention program has had success with rehabilitating first-time, nonviolent offenders facing more serious charges and transforming them into productive members of society. The same opportunity should be available at the municipal level where rehabilitation of low-level offenders will have even greater success. Ultimately, rehabilitation costs less than incarceration and is better for both our communities and taxpayers.”