Criminal Justice Reform

New Jersey has led the way ending mass incarceration with my legislation repealing most mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses which exclusively targeted minorities in urban areas reducing our prison population by 50% for drug offenses, 20% overall.

I expanded treatment for addicted offenders instead of prison so they could get an opportunity to be sober and lead a productive crime free life.

I was prime co-sponsor of Ban The Box which gives ex-offenders a fair shot at employment.

Sponsored the abolition of the death penalty making New Jersey the first state in four decades to do so and won an International Human Rights Award from Le Memorial de Caen, the D-Day/Human Rights museum, Normandy France for my speech: The Road to Justice and Peace. Also wrote a book: The Road to Abolition: How New Jersey Abolished The Death Penalty.

I am advocating legislation to:

  • Sign legislation I sponsored which Governor Christie vetoed to end the abuse of solitary confinement.
  • Enact legislation I sponsored, Presumptive Parole and Earn Your Way Out, which will further reduce the prison population by 20% and will begin re-entry at entry into prison rather than upon release from prison so inmates are given an opportunity to come out of prison as better persons than when they entered prison.
  • Close two prisons as a result of enacting Presumptive Parole and Earn Your Way Out saving tens of millions of tax dollars and gaining tens of millions of tax revenue from development of the closed prison sites.
  • Require the Attorney General to investigate all killings by law enforcement and a special prosecutor, appointed upon recommendation by the NJ Chief Justice, for killings by State police, to ensure the public’s confidence of our criminal justice and fund dash cams and body cameras for police.
  • Aggressively lobby Congress for universal background checks for all gun purchases. More than 70% of gun violence in New Jersey involve guns from other states.