Measure Would Create Task Force to Investigate the Prevalence of Prejudice and Recommend Solutions
Bipartisan legislation addressing the extent of racial bias within New Jersey’s criminal justice system was approved today by the Senate.
The Senate approved Senator Corrado’s bill to establish a task force to investigate the presence of bias within New Jersey’s criminal justice system and evaluate its impact on the equitable administration of the law. (©iStock)
The bill (AJR-172/SJR-94), sponsored by Senator Kristin Corrado, would establish a task force to investigate the presence of bias and evaluate its impact on the equitable administration of the law.
“The justice system is designed to be fair and equitable. Bias of any kind threatens the basic principles of our legal structure,” said Corrado (R-40). “The presence of racial bias at any level within the system cannot be accepted, and the task force is a meaningful step toward eliminating race-based favoritism and preference in the eyes of the law.”
The 17-member task force created by the bill would examine data, research and polices related to racial bias and disparities within the state’s law enforcement, courts and correctional system, and identify strategies to reduce unfair treatment under the law.
Task force members will represent the Senate and Assembly, the Attorney General, the Administrative Director of the Courts, the superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, the president of the New Jersey Prosecutors Association and the Public Defender. The Commissioner of Corrections, the executive director of the Juvenile Justice Commission and community-based advocacy groups will also be represented.
“The communication between task force members with disparate backgrounds will provide valuable insight and perspective on issues that impact our state,” said Corrado. “The fair treatment of all New Jersey residents and the effectiveness of our criminal justice system will be enhanced by the resulting recommendations.”
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