Shrinking Jail Population
The number of people in jail in New Jersey is down 20 percent since the start of Gov. Christie’s administration and the costs of running the prison system have dipped below $1 billion, lawmakers heard yesterday. But amid continued discussion over the effectiveness of bail reform in New Jersey, which has done away with financial bail in most cases, it is not clear whether municipalities are now bearing more costs in cases where people fail to appear for court hearings and police have to track them down. An Atlantic County spokeswoman told us last month that the county jail had approximately 60 fewer inmates at the end of February compared to the end of December (before bail reform, initially designed to help more people avoid prison, went into effect) but there is no good data on how the reform has affected municipalities.
Arrests of undocumented immigrants are up 20 percent since October, the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Newark told NJTV News in this interview. The TV station also has this piece on a Rutgers student and immigration rights activist who came to the United States with her parents when she was four and recently learned that renewal of her Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status was held up.
South Jersey’s Tom MacArthur, U.S. representative for New Jersey’s third congressional district, is reviving efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and he’s getting heat for it from other Republicans, although he has the support of the Freedom Caucus. Previously he voted against the plan to repeal the ACA. The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a look at what MacArthur is up to.
In the rest of the day’s news, Atlantic City Council last night pulled its planned vote on privatizing trash collection, there’s another permit problem for the PennEast Pinelands pipeline, the county might sell off some assets to make up for the missing casino PILOT money and three South Jersey teens returned $17,000 they found on the ground. All that and more below: