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New Jersey Democrats pushing NJ toward lawlessness (Opinion)

They're at it again. Trenton Democrats, this time led by state Sen. Teresa Ruiz, are pushing NJ further down the path of lawlessness.

Instead of addressing rising crime and the obvious examples of what not to do (Chicago and San Fransisco top the list), Senate Democrats want to keep more criminals out of jail.

The governor and the majority of Democrats are already refusing to enforce federal immigration detainer orders and releasing thousands of convicted criminals in the name of "health" during the COVID lockdowns. Combine these irresponsible pro-criminal policies with bail reform — which has effectively created a revolving door for some very bad people, many being released in hours of being arrested for crimes including domestic violence and drug dealing — it's all adding up to make your community less safe.

The latest attempt to devalue law enforcement and empower criminals in the name of so-called "social justice," Democrats are pushing a new bill, S-524.

In a nutshell, if S-524 passes, when a criminal is arrested for sexual assault, a first- or second-degree violent crime, gun assault, arson, or an offense under Megan’s Law, they would be allowed to:

🔴 Avoid court and give a prosecutor sole discretion to put them into a diversion program as long as a social worker (not a doctor) says they are depressed or suffer from four or more other “mental health” issues (which include loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, trouble sleeping, fidgeting or nervousness. Not making that up; it’s literally in the bill)

🔴 Avoid jail. There is no incarceration. They serve a non-custodial release term that can’t extend more than two years, during which there is no consequence for not completing the program or reoffending, and they can be admitted to the program as many times as they commit crimes.

🔴 When they complete the program, they have a congratulatory graduation ceremony and their charge is expunged (adding insult to injury for the victims).

🔴 There is no judicial review. The prosecutor decides who goes in and who comes out. There is no court date.

Here's state Sen. Doug Steinhardt's take on this misguided piece of legislation:

While New Jersey law already prohibits an offender who is “mentally incompetent” from being tried, convicted, and incarcerated, the new legislation sets a substantially lower bar to divert offenders into “appropriate case management and mental health services” – whatever that is. The bill explicitly states that the diversion program is to be non-custodial. “Under the Democrats’ bill, an offender would be able to hire a social worker to say they experienced depression, and that could be enough to get them into the diversion program,” said Steinhardt. “Any criminal who actually ends up in jail under this law would have to be a complete idiot.”

It's time to make New Jersey safe again — for our neighborhoods, families, main streets, and for our law enforcement community.

End bail reform, enforce federal detainer orders, reincarcerate criminals to complete their sentences and stop the madness of allowing violent offenders to avoid being held accountable for their actions.

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