Revisions to N.J. bail system proposed

New Jersey lawmakers are discussing some measures to make changes in the bail system.

Proposed legislation would provide alternatives to bail for nonviolent offenders.

Nearly 40 percent of the people in jail in New Jersey are there because they can’t afford bail that’s sometimes as low as $500, according to Roseanne Scotti, state director of the Drug Police Alliance.

“It makes no sense economically or morally to be warehousing large numbers of people when they are not a risk to the community and when they are not a risk of not showing up for their court date,” she said.

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Scotti says allowing those offenders to be released with community supervision would be more effective.

Lawmakers are also considering a constitutional amendment that would deny bail for defendants charged with violent crimes including murder, kidnapping, and carjacking.

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