Social Justice

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 […]

N.J. lawmakers seek to curb cannabis use

BY: - May 16, 2022

As New Jersey nears the end of its first month of legal recreational marijuana sales, lawmakers have introduced a series of bills aimed at restricting what types of workers can use cannabis off the job. One measure (S2518), sponsored by Sen. Robert Singer (R-Ocean), would amend the state’s recreational marijuana law to ban cannabis consumption […]

Top cannabis official faces lawmakers during five-hour hearing

BY: - May 13, 2022

It’s been three weeks since New Jerseyans started heading to local dispensaries to pick up legal, recreational cannabis – the start of what’s expected to be a multi-billion dollar industry that launched nearly four years after lawmakers began seriously discussing marijuana legalization. And in front of Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) and the Senate Judiciary Committee on […]

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 […]

Abortion is a frequent, favorite driver of legislation in New Jersey

BY: - May 4, 2022

Reproductive rights advocates breathed a sigh of relief this week that abortion access is well-protected in New Jersey, after a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision signaled the nation’s top court could soon allow states to ban the procedure. But state lawmakers have introduced a long list of abortion bills since January — and […]

N.J.’s top court to weigh recommendations to reduce bias in jury selection

BY: - May 2, 2022

New Jersey courts would ask prospective jurors their race, ethnicity, and gender, allow people with certain criminal convictions to serve on juries, and pay jurors more, if the state Supreme Court adopts recommendations made last week to reduce bias in jury selection. The Committee of the Judicial Conference on Jury Selection made 25 recommendations in […]

N.J. police officers are overwhelmingly white and male, data shows

BY: - April 28, 2022

Citizens can now investigate the demographics of their police departments in a new public database unveiled Thursday by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. The police diversity dashboard is intended to increase transparency, two years after state lawmakers passed a law requiring agencies to work toward making their staff as diverse as the communities they serve. […]

Reports of antisemitism in N.J. reached record levels in 2021, group says

BY: - April 27, 2022

At Princeton University in May 2021, Jewish students were verbally harassed outside an academic building. Four months later, a Teaneck man smashed the windows of a doctor’s office with a hammer, demanding to know whether patients were Jewish. And during Hanukkah that year, a sticker with a swastika was found outside a Mount Laurel synagogue.  […]

‘It’s cannabis Christmas!’ N.J. celebrates the first day of legal recreational marijuana

BY: and - April 21, 2022

Nearly 48 years ago, Marie Holmes sparked a joint for the first time. Since then, she’s experienced the stigma surrounding cannabis usage, the ways consuming weed has changed, and finally, legalization in her home state. “And now I get to use my senior discount,” she laughed. “It’s been way too long since we needed this […]

Another power plant might still come to Newark, despite residents’ pleas to stop

BY: - April 21, 2022

At 9 years old, Destiny Tate is already worried about the over-pollution of Newark. She has friends in her third-grade classes who have asthma and said the air stinks when she leaves her Ironbound home in the morning.  “A lot of people want to go outside and enjoy being outside and smell the nice air […]