New Jersey Lawmakers Vote On Long List Of Police Reform Bills

Sean Adams
July 31, 2020 - 9:37 am

    TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) — Following a nationwide wave of protests against police brutality and systemic racism, New Jersey lawmakers are tackling criminal justice and prison reform.

    Lawmakers on Thursday invoked the name of Rep. John Lewis, on the day that the civil rights champion was laid to rest, as they passed a long list of bills that took on race, sentencing disparaties and mental health.

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    One measure would make it a crime to call 911 as a way to intimidate someone based on race.

    Lawmakers hope to spur more diversity in police ranks, more minority recruitment and increase training with regard to cultural sensitivity and mental health issues.

    Other measures would eliminate mandatory minimum prison sentences for some non-violent crimes, allow juveniles faceing long prison terms to be resentenced and offer reentry and housing assistance services to inmates who have completed their sentence.

    Lawmakers also voted to designate the third Friday in June as Juneteenth Day, commemorating the end of slavery.

    The bill passed 62-0 with 12 abstentions in the Assembly and 34-3 in the Senate.

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