Gov. Chris Christie wants to give state judges the authority to keep suspects who are considered a danger to the community in jail while awaiting trial on new charges.
The governor’s proposed constitutional amendment would put New Jersey’s bail laws in line with the federal system.
The proposal requires voter approval because the state constitution now specifies a bail option for all suspects.
Christie, a former federal prosecutor, says giving judges the discretion to deny bail to repeat violent offenders would make communities safer and help alleviate witness intimidation, which causes cases to fall apart and suspects to go free.
Six county prosecutors standing with Christie as he announced the initiative in Trenton support the move.
Christie has also proposed mandatory treatment for nonviolent drug offenders.