The New Solutions Campaign
Over the last thirty years, New Jersey's prison population has grown at an unprecedented rate, driven largely by significant increases in both the use of imprisonment, especially for nonviolent drug offenders, as well as sentence lengths. These policies are economically unsustainable, excessively draconian and, studies have shown, do not even result in lower rates of crime or enhanced public safety.
To address the unacceptable and counterproductive consequences of excessive rates of incarceration, DPA launched the New Solutions Campaign in 2008. The Campaign began by advocating for the reform of New Jersey’s harsh drug free school zone law, which tore apart communities of color and wasted taxpayer money. Read our report, “Wasting Money, Wasting Lives: Calculating the Hidden Costs of Incarceration in New Jersey” and learn more about winning drug free zone reform.
The Campaign has since expanded to support several important criminal justice reform measures all designed to reduce our over-reliance on incarceration as an effective and fair crime-control method and save taxpayer money: the first is parole reform legislation, Senate Bill 895 / Assembly Bill 2182, which would allow for the release of certain nonviolent offenders upon their first parole eligibility date. We are also advocating for Senate Bill 1896 / Assembly Bill 3094, to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol for adults. Last, we are supporting New Jersey’s comprehensive bail reform law, which will restructure our bail system so that people do not languish behind bars awaiting trial simply because they cannot afford to pay for their release.
The Campaign is also working on civil asset forfeiture reform and is planning to advocate for legislation to eliminate harsh and discriminatory mandatory minimums for some drug offenders.
To learn more about parole reform, click here.
To learn more about marijuana reform, click here.
To learn more about bail and pretrial justice reform, click here.
To learn more about civil asset forfeiture reform, click here.
To learn more about mandatory minimum sentencing reform, click here.