New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has accelerated the repeal of a controversial early release program for prison inmates while also seeking to broaden the Parole Board's discretion to review cases, reports the Newark Star-Ledger. If the state senate accepts the changes Christie made to a Democratic bill yesterday, the state would no longer release some inmates six months before their sentences are scheduled to end.
In addition, the Parole Board would not have to hold hearings for inmates at regular intervals. The recommendations could roll back two critical pieces of a law signed by Gov. Jon Corzine on his last day in office. The early release program in particular has drawn a firestorm of controversy after two inmates who were allowed out of prison months early were accused of murder. “Whatever original policy or principle motivated passage of this law, it failed to adequately consider the safety of the public,” Christie said.