New Jersey Drug Courts to Be National Model

The state of New Jersey has served as a proponent of creating various programs for many drug offenders to keep them out of any trouble in the future. The programs include diversion methods of education and counseling in substitution for jail time.

Eric Holder, U.S. General Attorney, is strongly supporting the changes already implemented within the judicial system in New Jersey. He feels that sentences should be imposed individually as each case differs, and the federal prisons should not be overcrowded by low-level drug offenders. Holder recently expressed his views about too many Americans serving the prison time for trivial reasons. In essence, prolonged sentences may not be necessary to serve the same purposes for minor crimes as lesser sentences combined with proper diversion programs.

Most judges are inclined to sentence offenders to lesser sentences for nonviolent drug cases. Many believe that rehabilitation programs are more effective than mandatory minimum sentences. However, the task may be more complicated to combat as the demand for the drugs keeps climbing.

New Jersey Department of Corrections reports housing over 21,000 prisoners, out of which over 4,500 were convicted of drug charges. Eighty-three percent of those incarcerated within the prison system are convicted of possessing or distributing drugs. As the expense of prison grows, less money is allocated to intervention and prevention programs as well as law enforcement and prosecution.

Several changes have been implemented at the state level. These include close supervision of inmates after they leave the prison. The ultimate goal is to ensure that fewer people return to prison. Enhanced case management and contact with social services providers may also aid individuals who have completed their sentence and are returning into the society. A criminal law attorney in New Jersey may be a good resource for those who have been accused of drug violations.

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