For Immediate Release – February 15, 2023
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township officially filed a complaint against the State of New Jersey with the Council on Local Mandates to address how the bail reform statute is forcing the Township to incur $325,391.17 in increased public safety costs this year.
Pursuant to the bail reform encompassed within P.L. 2014, Chapter 31, only defendants who pose a serious risk of danger or flight are detained in jail pending trial. Defendants deemed to be “low risk” are now released pending trial and cannot be detained solely because they cannot afford to post bail. The result of this is that non-violent offenders are released from jail while still posing a risk to public safety through repeat criminal behavior – such as the ongoing auto thefts and home invasions that have been plaguing Middletown and surrounding areas.
Since the effective date of bail reform law in January 2017, motor vehicle thefts and associated crimes in Monmouth County have increased by 40 percent, according to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office. More than one-third of those being arrested and released are committing the same crime again. Due to this increased risk to public safety, Middletown and other municipalities are being forced to cover the extra costs to increase law enforcement patrols to protect residents effectively.
This increased cost to municipalities will impact taxpayers during a time when it is critical to scale back spending. “Middletown Township is allocating over $325,000 in expenses to supplement these failed policies, and while you cannot put a price tag on public safety, it should come at the cost of the state,” said Mayor Tony Perry. “The Middletown Township Committee and I hope that other towns will jump onboard to support this complaint to ensure our voices are heard and fix this broken system.”