Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean that would require the Attorney General to collect, record, and analyze criminal justice data, including demographic statistics, has been advanced by the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee.
Sen. Tom Kean’s legislation that would require the Attorney General to record and analyze criminal justice data, including demographic statistics, has advanced. (SenateNJ.com)
“All New Jersey residents deserve equal protection under the law,” said Kean (R-21). “Collecting criminal justice data in a consistent and uniform matter will give policymakers and the public a more detailed and accurate understanding of how the law is being applied and enforced in New Jersey. This will help us to identify any problem areas and develop appropriate solutions that enhance public safety, protect civil rights, and strengthen police relations with the communities they serve.”
Kean’s bipartisan bill, A-1076/S-2638, would require the New Jersey Attorney General, in consultation with the Division of State Police, county prosecutors’ offices, Administrative Office of the Courts, and Department of Corrections, to establish a program to collect, record, and analyze data regarding defendants in this State who are age 18 or older at the time of the commission of an alleged offense.
The data is to be collected from the time a defendant enters the State’s criminal justice system, by arrest, charge, or other action, through the final disposition of the defendant’s case. The data required includes the race, ethnicity, gender, and age of the defendant.
This legislation corresponds with recommendations from the New Jersey Criminal Sentencing & Disposition Commission’s 2019 Annual Report.
“It pains me to hear about the lack of trust between officers and communities, and the danger that creates,” added Kean. “Amassing, analyzing, and learning from this important data will help to restore trust, build hope, and drive equality in neighborhoods across New Jersey.”
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