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More people in jail due to slow-down in court process | Video


New Jersey’s court system remains critically understaffed. Jeralyn Lawrence, president of the New Jersey State Bar Association, says that’s a major reason for the state’s high incarceration rate. She says every county in the state except Burlington has roughly 70 vacant court seats that need to be filled, slowing down the process.

Alexander Shalom, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of New Jersey, said the inability to go to trial has left many cases unresolved. And some lawmakers are pushing new anti-crime legislation that public defenders say will put even more New Jerseyans in prison, especially black and brown residents who have historically faced disproportionately higher incarceration rates than white people.

Human rights activists still want the number of people in prison to decrease. They hope that filling the judicial vacancies will be a top priority so that other trials can be completed soon.

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