Author

Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo comes to the New Jersey Monitor from WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR station, and the Philadelphia Daily News, a paper known for exposing corruption and holding public officials accountable. Prior to that, she worked at newspapers in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and suburban Philadelphia and has freelanced for various local and national magazines, newspapers and websites. She lives in Central Jersey with her husband, a photojournalist, and their two children.

N.J. to bar cops from jailing people who skip court, don’t pay fines on minor offenses

By: - May 26, 2022

Police in New Jersey can no longer jail people who fail to appear in municipal courts or pay fines for minor offenses, under a new directive issued Wednesday by acting Attorney General Matt Platkin. The move is intended to reduce both pretrial incarceration and potentially volatile police encounters, Platkin said. It will also save cops […]

Watchdog urges N.J. to expand care for residents with developmental or intellectual disabilities

By: - May 24, 2022

Alex Guedes has complex neurodevelopmental disabilities and medical problems that require 24-hour skilled nursing care. The 21-year-old Atlantic County man has autism, Down syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a genetic condition that makes him susceptible to infections and injuries that can require surgery to fix. He’s on a feeding tube and frequently gulps air, a disability-related […]

Three Republicans competing for chance to unseat Gottheimer in November

By: - May 23, 2022

The three Republicans vying to take on Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer in North Jersey’s 5th Congressional District have presented very different personas they hope will snag them a primary win next month. Nick De Gregorio is the military hero who will fight for Americans in Congress like he did in war zones, Frank Pallotta is […]

Assembly panel advances curriculum transparency bill

By: - May 20, 2022

Discussion at an Assembly education committee hearing Thursday on a bill that would require schools to post health curriculum online devolved into a shouting match over the state’s new sex ed standards, with critics warning the standards are not age-appropriate. The heated hearing came after a similar outcry erupted at a Senate meeting last week […]

Lawmakers eye eliminating county constables in N.J.

By: - May 19, 2022

Lawmakers advanced a bill Thursday that would abolish county constables, five months after a state watchdog condemned constables as untrained, unsupervised — yet often armed — cop wannabes who are subject to no accountability. Sen. Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) introduced the bill in March to implement the State Commission of Investigation’s recommendation to eliminate the “outdated” […]

Motorist sues N.J. state troopers for roadside beatdown

By: - May 19, 2022

New Jersey state troopers who stopped a motorist they suspected of road rage beat the unarmed man so badly he needed surgery to recover, according to allegations in a new federal civil rights lawsuit. The Wayne resident accuses the New Jersey State Police and multiple named and unnamed troopers of excessive force, unlawful arrest, wrongful […]

GOP senator introduces bills to loosen gun restrictions in New Jersey

By: - May 18, 2022

A freshman state senator inspired to run for public office after he was denied a concealed carry permit has introduced a bevy of bills that would expand gun rights in New Jersey. Most of the legislation sponsored by Sen. Ed Durr (R-Gloucester) seeks to loosen some of the famously tight restrictions New Jersey places on […]

Calls mount for increased funding for New Jersey’s state parks

By: - May 17, 2022

Sylvia Kocses had a great second date in 1967 at Washington Crossing State Park with the man who would become her husband. When they had kids, the park in Mercer County became their go-to, with its playgrounds, nature center, open-air theater, and 13 miles of trails. Now 71, Kocses takes her grandchildren and husband for […]

Drivers fleeing a crash with multiple victims can only be charged once, court rules

By: - May 16, 2022

Drivers who flee crashes that leave multiple people dead can only be charged once with fleeing the scene, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday in an opinion that upholds the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition of multiple punishments for the same offense. Judge Julio Fuentes, writing for the court, said justices based their decision in […]

Governor Murphy announces bills to expand abortion access, protect patients and providers

By: - May 11, 2022

With a U.S. Supreme Court decision looming that observers believe will allow for greater abortion restrictions nationwide, Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday announced a wide-ranging plan to expand abortion access and protect patients and abortion providers in New Jersey. New measures, if passed, would require the state to create a fund to help uninsured and […]

Report recommends N.J. build three small youth prisons and close existing ones

By: - May 11, 2022

Four years after state officials vowed to close two of New Jersey’s three youth prisons, a state-convened task force on Tuesday recommended the construction of three new youth prisons, a move some reformers rebuked as wasteful and contradictory to their goals of reducing racial disparities. The Task Force for the Continued Transformation of Youth Justice […]

N.J.’s top court orders ex-Black Panther freed after 49 years behind bars

By: - May 10, 2022

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the state to free Sundiata Acoli, rejecting the state Parole Board’s claims that the 85-year-old should stay in prison for the 1973 slaying of a state trooper. The ruling, split 3-2 along party lines, brings to a close a decades-long battle by Acoli’s supporters to release him […]