Prison doors are opening throughout New Jersey, freeing convicts arrested by four Camden police officers under federal investigation for allegedly stealing drugs, pocketing money, and framing suspects, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The release of these inmates may be just the beginning, with new developments indicating the corruption case is reaching into every element of the criminal justice system.
It affects those awaiting sentencing at the Camden County jail: Bail for a man still in jail months after the suspended officers arrested him dropped from $75,000 to $0 without explanation, allowing him to walk free. It affects those on probation: One man who went to prison for violating his terms was released last month because his probation had stemmed from charges by one of these officers. From probation to parole, from the city’s Police Department to the county’s public defenders, the probe will force a review and cleanup of cases. On top of all that, the government agencies involved are being targeted by civil lawsuits. “It’s going to be a headache for a lot of people for a long time,” said Jon Shane, a former police captain in Newark now on the faculty of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.