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Report: NJ County Jails Clogged with People Awaiting Trial

Monday, April 08, 2013

jail cell prison cell (TunnelBug/flickr)

A new report shows New Jersey's county jails are full of people who could not afford bail and are currently awaiting trial.

The report, commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance, found that four out of ten inmates had been granted bail but can't afford it. The average wait time for trail is about ten months. The analysis found because of this that nearly 75 percent of inmates in country jail are there for pretrial detention.

Rosanne Scotti is the state director for the Drug Policy Alliance. 

"The tax payers of New Jersey are paying literally millions of dollars to warehouse people," she tells WNYC, "because those individuals couldn't afford, say, $500 bail."

The analysis recommends that the state develop alternatives to pretrial detention.    

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