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New Jersey Jail Population Analysis March 2013

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DATA DRIVEN
JUSTICE
SOLUTIONS

NEW JERSEY
JAIL POPULATION ANALYSIS

Identifying Opportunities to Safely and Responsibly
Reduce the Jail Population

Provided by Luminosity in Partnership with
the Drug Policy Alliance
March 2013

Marie VanNostrand, Ph.D.

Contents
Introduction................................................................................................................................................1
New Jersey County Jail System.................................................................................................................2
Criminal Justice System Trends and Key Stakeholder Agencies..........................................................3
Crime Rate, Incident, and Arrest Statistics......................................................................................................... 3
Law Enforcement................................................................................................................................................... 5
Prosecutor.............................................................................................................................................................. 5
Public Defender..................................................................................................................................................... 5
Courts...................................................................................................................................................................... 6
Municipal Court....................................................................................................................................................................6
Superior Court - Criminal Division.....................................................................................................................................7

Jail Population Profile................................................................................................................................8
Demographics........................................................................................................................................................ 8
Housing Classification.......................................................................................................................................... 9
Primary Charge.................................................................................................................................................... 10
Primary Custody Status...................................................................................................................................... 10
Sentenced Population.......................................................................................................................................................11
Pretrial Population.............................................................................................................................................................11
Other Population...............................................................................................................................................................13
Held-on-Bail Only...............................................................................................................................................................13

Summary of Key Findings.......................................................................................................................14
Appendix A - New Jersey County Jails Overview (by County)............................................................15
Appendix B - New Jersey Crime Rate and Incident Statistics by County 2011.................................16
Appendix C - New Jersey Municipal Court Case Statistics
2008 - 2012................................................................................................................................................17
Appendix D- CCIS Primary Custody Codes in Priority Order..............................................................18

1

New Jersey Jail
Population Analysis
Introduction
The New Jersey County Jail System (NJCJS) is collectively
operated by each of the state’s 21 counties.1 Each county
is responsible for the safe, secure detention of individuals
committed to their custody who have either been charged
with a crime and are pending case disposition or who have
been sentenced to a period of incarceration after having
been convicted of a crime. On any given day the NJCJS
has in its custody approximately 15,000 inmates. The population includes adult males and females with varying
custody levels, a wide range of physical and mental health
needs, and holds minor non-violent inmates to very serious and dangerous inmates.
The current study was commissioned by the Drug Policy
Alliance for the purpose of examining the New Jersey jail
population and developing a population profile. The population profile is intended to describe the population in
terms of demographics, custody status, offense characteristics, bail status, and any other relevant information. The
goal of the study is to use this profile to identify opportunities to responsibly reduce New Jersey’s jail population
while maintaining public safety and the integrity of the
judicial process. To conduct the study, data were requested and received from the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts (“AOC”). The AOC maintains the County
Corrections Information System (CCIS) for which 19 of the
21 counties contribute inmate data (Bergen and Passaic
counties do not provide data to CCIS). In addition, an informal survey was conducted of all county correctional
facilities and the New Jersey Department of Corrections’
Office of County Services (NJDOC-OCS) was consulted to
obtain more detailed information on the individual jail facilities.

A jail population cannot be examined in a vacuum. The
population is driven by many criminal justice agencies and
is a reflection of the operation of the entire criminal justice
system. It is based both on the number of people admitted to the jail and how long they stay. Any responsible population-reduction strategy must take into consideration
many outside factors including the practices of key stakeholder agencies such as law enforcement, prosecutor, public defender, courts, alternatives to detention programs,
and the jail itself. A detailed examination of these areas
was outside the scope of this study, but readily available
information related to criminal justice system trends and
key stakeholder agencies (e.g., crime rate, incident, and arrest statistics; law enforcement; prosecutor; public defender; and the courts) were included to provide context to
the population profile results.

On any given day the NJCJS has in
its custody approximately 15,000
inmates.
The current report includes a description of the NJCJA, an
overview of criminal justice system trends and key stakeholder agencies, a detailed population profile, and a summary of findings.

1	 New Jersey is comprised of 21 counties and 565 municipalities. It is approximately 7,500 square miles of land and home to 8,864,590 residents according to a 2012 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau. New Jersey is the 4th least extensive (smallest by land mass), but with a population
density of 1,196 people per square mile it is the 11th most populous and the most densely populated of the 50 United States. The counties range
in population from the lowest population in Salem County (66,083) to the highest population in Bergen County (905,116).

2

New Jersey County Jail System
The New Jersey County Jail System (NJCJS) is collectively
operated by each of the state’s 21 counties. Each county
is responsible for the safe, secure detention of individuals
committed to their custody who have either been charged
with a crime and are pending case disposition or who have
been convicted of a crime and sentenced to a period of incarceration of one year or less. On any given day the NJCJS
has in its custody approximately 15,000 inmates.
There is at least one correctional facility (a.k.a. jail) in each
county, with a total of 22 county correctional facilities in
New Jersey. In thirteen counties, operation of the county
jail is a responsibility and function of a County Department
of Corrections, while in the remaining eight counties it is
a responsibility and function of the Sheriff’s Office. Every
county correctional facility operates under the direction
and management of a Warden, Director, or Undersheriff.

rectional facility management concerning the revision, development or implementation of any policy, procedure or
written protocol required by the NJAC.
In addition to the 22 county correctional facilities, there
are three privately owned and operated residential reentry facilities3 in New Jersey that house county inmates on a
contract basis. The three facilities having a combined capacity of 2,740 include:
•	 Delaney Hall, Newark (Capacity: 1,196);
•	 Albert M. “Bo” Robinson Assessment & Treatment
Center, Trenton (Capacity: 900); and
•	 Logan Hall, Newark (Capacity: 644)4.

New Jersey County Correctional Facilities

The NJCJS has an authorized capacity to house 18,467
inmates. Individual county jail capacities range from 156
to 2,434 inmates, with a median capacity of 692 inmates.2
Based on an informal survey of each county, 13 county correctional facilities were constructed or renovated/expanded over 20 years ago. The oldest facility was constructed
in 1954 with no major renovation/expansion since that
time, while the latest correctional facility expansion was
completed in 2011. Appendix A summarizes the results of
the informal county correctional facility survey with additional information obtained from the NJDOC-OCS and provides more details about each county correctional facility.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections’ Office of County Services (NJDOC-OCS) has statutory responsibility for
conducting annual inspections of each of the 22 county
correctional facilities for compliance with minimum standards for adult county correctional facilities, in accordance
with NJ Administrative Code Title 10A, Chapter 31. The NJDOC-OCS is also responsible for reviewing and approving
documents for the construction, renovation or alteration
of county correctional facilities to ensure compliance with
New Jersey Administrative Code (NJAC) requirements. In
addition, they provide technical assistance to county cor-

2	
3	
4	

New Jersey Department of Corrections: Office of Community Programs and Outreach Services
Community Education Centers, Inc. (CEC), a private service provider, operates three residential reentry facilities located in NJ.
CEC http://www.cecintl.com/facilities_facilities_b.html

3

Criminal Justice System Trends and Key Stakeholder Agencies
Crime Rate, Incident, and Arrest Statistics

The jail population is driven by crime and the policies, procedures, and operations of many criminal justice agencies.
It is a reflection of the community and the operation of the
entire criminal justice system. Identifying opportunities
to responsibly reduce New Jersey’s jail population while
maintaining public safety and the integrity of the judicial
process must be done with consideration given to many
outside factors, including the practices of key stakeholder
agencies. Readily available information related to criminal
justice system trends and key stakeholder agencies (e.g.,
crime rate, incident, and arrest statistics; law enforcement,
prosecutor, public defender, and the courts) are included
below to provide context to the population profile results.

Crime rate, incident, and arrest statistics are reported in the
New Jersey State Police Crime in New Jersey reports. According to the 2011 report, the crime rate for NJ was recorded at 24.7 victims for every 1,000 inhabitants. As can be
seen in Table 1 below, index crimes and the corresponding
crime rate fluctuated across the years, but have remained
relatively stable and actually decreased when comparing
the reporting years 2007 and 2011. Appendix B contains
the 2011 crime index and rate broken down by county.

Table 1. New Jersey Crime Rate and Incident Statistics 2007 – 2011
Total Crime Index

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

220,798

227,177

207,841

210,817

217,073

25.3

26.2

23.9

24

24.7

Number Cleared

44,596

45,619

44,288

43,472

43,137

Percent Cleared

20.2

20.1

21.3

20.6

19.9

Murder

381

376

320

372

380

1,029

1,090

1,041

985

991

Robbery

12,562

12,694

11,637

11,859

12,216

Aggravated Assault

14,554

14,121

14,110

13,958

13,586

Burglary

37,234

40,132

36,928

38,794

43,208

133,094

138,644

128,304

129,294

129,269

21,944

20,120

15,501

15,555

17,423

Offenses
Crime Rate

Index Offenses

Rape

Larceny-Theft
Motor Vehicle Theft

Data Sources: New Jersey State Police Crime in New Jersey, 2007 – 2011 reports Section II

The arrest statistics are presented in Tables 2, 3 and 4. The total number of arrests reflects a downward trend for the
period 2007 - 2011, with total arrests for 2011 at a five-year low (See Table 2).
Table 2. New Jersey Adult Arrest Statistics - 2007 - 2011
Total Arrests
(Index and Non-Index)

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

356,859

358,285

346,022

323,509

308,804

Data Sources: New Jersey State Police Crime in New Jersey, 2007 – 2011 reports Section II

Arrests specifically for index crimes fluctuated across the years, yet the 2008 and 2011 statistics are comparable (38,094
and 38,438, respectively). However, in 2011, arrests for murder and rape were at a five-year low (192 and 238, respectively). Table 3 displays the Index offenses.

4

Table 3. New Jersey Adult Arrest Statistics Index Offenses - 2007 - 2011
Offense

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Murder

238

256

201

234

192

Rape

351

315

295

259

238

Robbery

2,647

2,962

2,982

2,788

2,664

Aggravated Assault

7,651

7,657

7,516

7,254

6,943

Burglary

4,479

5,112

4,752

4,924

5,554

19,502

21,079

21,398

21,513

22,292

746

713

582

505

555

35,614

38,094

37,726

37,477

38,438

Larceny-Theft
Motor Vehicle Theft
Total Index Offenses

Data Sources: New Jersey State Police Crime in New Jersey, 2007 – 2011 reports Section III

Arrests specifically for non-index crimes also reflect a five-year low; from a high of 321,245 arrests in 2007 to a low of
270,366 arrests in 2011 (see Table 4).
Table 4. New Jersey Adult Arrest Statistics Non-Index Offenses - 2007 - 2011
Offense

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

33

25

30

31

33

23,316

22,997

23,588

23,623

22,182

175

167

146

137

131

Forgery & Counterfeiting

2,060

1,821

1,732

1,682

1,793

Fraud

4,950

5,042

4,982

4,037

3,451

122

157

141

168

204

Stolen Property; Buying, Receiving, Possessing, etc.

3,494

3,162

2,811

2,572

2,797

Criminal/Malicious Mischief

4,265

4,076

3,950

3,828

3,727

Weapons; Carrying, Possessing, etc.

4,029

3,798

3,553

3,265

3,170

Prostitution and Commercialized Vice

1,941

1,488

1,396

1,481

1,073

Sex Offenses (Except Forcible Rape & Prostitution)

1,437

1,356

1,283

1,195

1,112

49,589

49,002

47,706

44,962

42,369

561

308

237

89

63

Offenses Against Family and Children

14,929

15,558

14,434

13,232

14,558

Driving Under the Influence

30,035

28,336

27,549

26,334

26,195

Manslaughter
Simple Assault
Arson

Embezzlement

Drug Abuse Violations
Gambling

Liquor Laws

6,183

5,399

4,977

4,876

5,129

18,501

19,297

18,353

16,861

15,122

1,344

1,866

1,453

826

254

All Other Offenses (Except Traffic)

154,281

156,336

149,975

136,833

127,003

Total Non-index Offenses

321,245

320,191

308,296

286,032

270,366

Disorderly Conduct
Vagrancy

Data Sources: New Jersey State Police Crime in New Jersey, 2007 – 2011 reports Section III

5

Law Enforcement
The New Jersey Uniform Crime Reporting System maintained by the State Police is based upon the compilation,
classification, and analysis of crime data provided by all
law enforcement agencies as well as the State’s 21 prosecutor and sheriff’s offices. Collectively, a total of 542 law
enforcement agencies operating within NJ submit crime
reports to the New Jersey State Police.5
According to the New Jersey State Police Crime in New Jersey, 2007 – 2011 reports, there were approximately 51,678
police employee personnel (sworn and civilian) working in
New Jersey during 2011. As can be seen in Table 5, the
number of full time police employees has decreased by
13.5% since 2007.

Prosecutor
State statute establishes for each of New Jersey’s 21 counties a county prosecutor appointed by the governor who
handles all criminal cases for the Superior Court within the
county of jurisdiction.6 The county prosecutor has authority to appoint assistant prosecutors for his/her respective
county.7 The actual number of prosecutors, including assistant prosecutors, working in each county was not readily attainable.

State statute requires each Municipal Court to have at least
one municipal prosecutor, who is appointed by the governing body of the municipality, municipalities, or county. A
municipal prosecutor may be appointed to that position in
one or more Municipal Courts.8

Public Defender
The Office of the Public Defender is a function of state
government and is administered by the New Jersey Public
Defender who is appointed by the governor. The Public
Defender’s Office is responsible for providing legal representation for any indigent defendant who is formally charged with the commission of an indictable offense. The
public defender appoints deputy public defenders and
assistant deputy public defenders to assist in the performance of the duties of the office. There are 21 regional
public defender offices, one in each county, each headed
by a deputy public defender. The actual number of public defenders, including assistant public defenders and
deputy public defenders, working in each county was not
readily attainable.

Table 5. New Jersey Full Tme Police Employees 2007 - 2011
Year

Police Officers

Civilians

Total Police Employees

2007

40,000

13,136

53,136

2008

39,521

13,097

52,618

2009

38,880

12,798

51,678

2010

37,508

11,913

49,421

2011

35,236

10,750

45,986

Data Source: New Jersey State Police Crime in New Jersey, 2007 – 2011

5	 New Jersey State Police http://www.njsp.org/info/ucr2011/pdf/2011_sect_1.pdf
6	 New Jersey Statutes: Title 2A Administration of Civil and Criminal Justice, Section 158-1 Appointment of county prosecutor, general duties.
7	 New Jersey Statutes: Title 2A Administration of Civil and Criminal Justice, 158-15 Assistant prosecutors; number; appointment; designation;
terms of office; oath of office
8	 New Jersey Statutes: Title 2B Court Organization and Civil Code, Section 25-4 Appointment, qualifications for municipal prosecutor; compensation

6

Courts
There are several different kinds of courts in New Jersey
which include the New Jersey Supreme Court, the Superior Court (which includes the Appellate Division), the Tax
Court, and the Municipal Courts. Cases involving criminal,
civil and family law are heard in the Superior Court. The
Superior Court is sometimes called the “trial court” because it is where trials are conducted. Criminal cases are
heard in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court. There is a Superior Court in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties.
There are approximately 360 Superior Court trial judges in
New Jersey.9 The trial courts are organized into 15 vicinages, or court districts.
Municipal Courts handle cases involving motor-vehicles
offenses such as illegal parking, speeding, and driving
while intoxicated as well as cases involving less serious
criminal offenses such as simple assault, trespassing, and
shoplifting. Municipal Courts are operated by the city,
township, or borough in which the courts are located.
There are 539 Municipal Courts in New Jersey.10
The New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)

publishes court management statistics for both the Superior and Municipal Courts. Statistics are compiled from
monthly statistical reports prepared by each county and
submitted to the AOC. The Superior Court – Criminal Division and Municipal Courts are the primary users of the
county jail system; therefore, an examination of those
court case management statistics was completed and is
shown below.

Municipal Court
The Municipal Court case management statistics for 2012
are provided in Table 6. In 2012, there were over six million case filings in the Municipal Court (845,014 criminal
and 5,284,840 traffic filings). Total filings among Municipal
Courts have decreased over the past five years with criminal filings decreasing by 9.1% and traffic filings decreasing
by 5.9% (see Appendix C for the 2008-2012 statistics). As of
June 2012, 41% of the total active pending cases (352,239)
in the Municipal Court were in backlog status (cases not
resolved within 60 days).

Table 6. New Jersey Municipal Court Case Statistics - 2012
Criminal Total

Traffic Total

Grand Total

Filings

845,014

5,284,840

6,129,854

Resolutions

812,573

5,312,488

6,125,061

Active Pending

117,166

739,182

856,348

60,541

291,698

352,239

52%

39%

41%

Backlog
Backlog Percent

Data Source: New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts Court Management Statistics 2012

9	http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/process.htm
10	http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/process.htm

7

Superior Court - Criminal Division
The Superior Court - Criminal Division case statistics are
disaggregated by pre-indictment and post-indictment.
The Superior Court Caseload Reference Guide, 2008 2012 compiles statistics on New Jersey’s Superior Court
caseload between the 2008 and 2012 court years (exclusive of the Appellate Division), which include the period
July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2012.11 It is a compilation
of data on filings, resolutions (cases disposed), clearance,
active pending, and backlog (the number and percentage of cases not within generally accepted case processing
guidelines – 60 days pre-indictment and 120 days postindictment).

As can be seen in Table 7, there were 104,862 case filings
in court year 2012 and 20,791cases active (pending) as of
June 2012. In court year 2012, more than half (53%) of the
criminal cases pre-indictment were considered to be in
backlog status. According to the Superior Court Caseload
Reference Guide, the average backlog for pre-indictment
cases across the 21 counties ranged from a low of 8% to a
high of 65%.

Table 7. New Jersey Superior Court Criminal Division Pre-Indictment 2008 – 2012
Filings

Resolutions

Active Pending

Backlog

Backlog Percent

2008 (July 07 – June 08)

110,827

110,926

21,313

11,176

52%

2009 (July 08 – June 09)

108,789

112,570

19,447

9,805

50%

2010 (July 09 – June 10)

106,752

108,041

19,655

9,645

49%

2011 (July 10 – June 11)

102,840

104,665

19,152

9,086

47%

2012 (July 11 – June 12)

104,862

104,323

20,791

10,968

53%

Data Source: New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts Court Management Statistics 2012

Table 8 contains the same statistics for the post-indictment population. In court year 2012, there were 48,767 case filings
and 16,476 cases active (pending) as of June 2012. Forty-five percent of the criminal cases post-indictment (7,357) were
considered to be in backlog status. The statewide backlog for post-indictment cases across the 21 counties ranged from
a low of 11% to a high of 72%.

Table 8. New Jersey Superior Court Criminal Division Post-Indictment 2008 – 2012
Filings

Resolutions

Active Pending

Backlog

Backlog Percent

2008 (July 07 – June 08)

54,416

55,722

15,617

6,246

40%

2009 (July 08 – June 09)

54,769

54,681

17,032

7,252

43%

2010 (July 09 – June 10)

51,200

54,339

15,489

6,289

41%

2011 (July 10 – June 11)

49,412

50,053

15,361

6,502

42%

2012 (July 11 – June 12)

48,767

48,239

16,476

7,357

45%

Data Source: New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts Court Management Statistics 2012

11	 http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/quant/fiveyear.pdf

8

Jail Population Profile
The population profile is intended to describe the population in terms of demographics, custody status, offense
characteristics, bail status, and other relevant information
about the population. The goal of the study is to analyze
the profile to identify opportunities to responsibly reduce
New Jersey’s jail population while maintaining public safety and the integrity of the judicial process.

ody of the NJCJS in the 19 of 21 counties that provide data
to the system. These data included a ‘snapshot’ of the jail
population, specifically, they represented all 13,003 adult
inmates confined and under the care and custody of 19 of
21 counties in the NJCJS on October 3, 2012 at 4:00 a.m.
These data were used to develop the population profile.

To gain this information, data were requested and received
from the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts
(AOC). The AOC maintains the County Corrections Information System (CCIS) for which 19 of the 21 counties contribute inmate data (Bergen and Passaic counties do not
provide data to CCIS). Data were extracted from the CCIS
mainframe system using FOCUS for Mainframe. The CCIS
mainframe contains information on all inmates in the cust-

Demographics
Of the 13,003 inmates, 89.7% were male and 10.3% were
female. The inmates ranged in age from 17 to 89 years.
While the mean age was 33.5 years, as can be seen in Figure 1, nearly 50% of the inmate population is 30 years of
age or younger.

Figure 1. Jail Population by Age (in years)
45%

38.7%

40%
35%
30%

23.8%

25%

19.1%

20%
15%
10%

9.5%

8.9%

5%
0%
0 - 20

21 - 30

31 - 40
Age Groups

Data Source: CCIS Statewide dataset compiled on 10/03/2012

41 - 50

51+

9

Seventy-one percent of inmates were reported as either Black or Hispanic. Figure 2 delineates the inmate population
by gender and race/ethnicity.
Figure 2. Jail Population by Gender and Race/Ethnicity
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Female
Male

Asian

Black

Hispanic

0.9%
0.4%

44.0%
54.6%

10.2%
18.8%

Native
White
American
0.1%
44.0%
0.1%
25.7%

Other
0.7%
0.4%

Data Source: CCIS Statewide dataset compiled on 10/03/2012

Housing Classification
The jail population is ostensibly spread out across all security classifications, with a small percentage requiring
segregation and/or special services. Because information
regarding the standardization of the inmate classification
system across the county jails was not readily available, it is
difficult to determine with any degree of certainty the risk
posed of inmates assigned to a particular housing classi-

fication. Standardization notwithstanding, the data seemingly indicate that 53.4% of the jail population is comprised of individuals who present no evident danger to self
or others, have adapted to the correctional environment,
and are typically considered general population.12 Figure
3 depicts the recorded housing classification assignments
for inmates confined on October 3, 2012.

Figure 3. Population by Housing Classification Assignment
Medical, 2.3%
Med/Max, 7.5%
Unassigned,
11.3%

Segregation,
2.1%

Maximum,
23.3%

Min/Med.
11.4%

Note: Segregation category includes Disciplinary
Detention, Protective Custody, and Administrative Segregation

Minimum,
21.3%
Medium,
20.7%

Data Source: CCIS Statewide dataset compiled on 10/03/2012

12	 General population inmates are recognized as individuals who do not present significant risk to the safety of self or others or the security of
the institution.

10

Primary Charge

An inmate can be held in custody, pretrial or sentenced,
for one or more charges. The primary charge for which a
person is held is referred to as “primary charge category”
and includes the following major categories:
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	

Violent
Sex Offense
Weapon
Burglary
Theft/Fraud

•	
•	
•	
•	

Drug
Traffic
Other
Supervision Violation

When an inmate has multiple charges, a primary charge
category is assigned. The order of priority for determining

primary charge category is presented above. The priority listing is premised on the most serious offense having
the highest priority. For example, if an inmate were charged with a drug offense and a violent offense, the primary
charge category would be violent.
Of those inmates in custody on October 3, 2012, 43.9%
were charged with either a violent, sex or weapon offense. Conversely, more than half of all inmates had primary charges that are considered non-violent such as drug
(17%), theft/fraud (8%) and traffic (5%). Table 9 provides
the primary charge category in descending order by percentage of total population.

Table 9. Primary Charge Category
Females

Males

Total %

Violent

2.76%

31.73%

34.48%

Drug

2.00%

15.42%

17.42%

Other

1.62%

10.46%

12.08%

Burglary

0.48%

7.98%

8.46%

Theft/Fraud

1.48%

6.44%

7.92%

Weapon

0.22%

6.95%

7.17%

Supervision Violation

1.00%

4.63%

5.63%

Traffic

0.45%

4.23%

4.68%

Sex Offense
Total

0.04%

2.12%

2.16%

10.05%

89.95%

100.00%

Data Source: CCIS Statewide dataset compiled on 10/03/2012

Primary Custody Status
An inmate can be held in custody for one or more reasons. The reason a person is held in custody is referred to as “custody status” and includes the following major categories:
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	

State Sentenced (Superior Court Sentenced to State DOC Pending Transfer);
Superior Court Sentenced (Superior Court Sentenced to a County Jail);
Municipal Court Sentenced (Municipal Court Sentenced to a County Jail);
Superior Court Pretrial (Pending Trial or Sentencing in Superior Court);
Municipal Court Pretrial (Pending Trial or Sentencing in Municipal Court); and
Other (detainers, holds, violations of community supervision, fugitive).

Each major category has multiple subcategories, which can be found in Appendix D. When an inmate has multiple
custody statuses, a primary custody status is assigned. The order of priority for determining primary custody status is
presented above. For example, if an inmate is serving a 30-day sentence from the Municipal Court (Municipal Court
Sentenced) and has a case pending in the Superior Court (Superior Court Pretrial), the primary custody status would be
Municipal Court Sentenced.

11

When examining primary custody status, 73.3% of the population is pretrial, 16.1% sentenced, and 10.7% other. More
specifically, the majority of the population is pending trial in Superior Court (66.3%). Figure 4 provides the percentage
of inmates in each primary custody status.
Figure 4. Jail Population by Primary Custody Status

10.7%

1.9%

7.5%

State Sentenced
6.8%

6.9%

Superior Court Sentenced
Municipal Court
Sentenced
Superior Court Pretrial
Municipal Court Pretrial
66.3%
Other

Data Source: CCIS Statewide dataset compiled on 10/03/2012

Sentenced Population
The Superior Court and Municipal Court sentenced populations account for 7.5% and 6.8% of the population, respectively. The population sentenced to the State DOC (state sentenced) is generally temporary and fluid, representing
only 2% of the jail population. The most common charges for inmates with a primary custody status of Superior Court
Sentenced (inmates sentenced to county jail time by the Superior Court) were violation of probation, possession of
drugs, and burglary. The most common Municipal Court sentenced charges were contempt of court, drunk driving and
shoplifting/theft.

Pretrial Population
Nearly three-fourths of all New Jersey jail inmates had a primary custody status of pretrial because they were pending
trial or sentencing in either Superior Court (66%) or Municipal Court (7%). Municipal Court Pretrial Inmates had been
confined, on average, approximately three months (89 days).
Figure 5 reflects the case processing stages for Superior Court Pretrial inmates by number of inmates pending a particular court action and the average length of stay in days those inmates had been confined to date.

12

6,000

350

5,000

300
250

4,000

200

3,000

150

2,000

100

1,000
0

Number of Days

Number of Inmates

Figure 5. Superior Court Pretrial - Court Processing Stages

50
Grand Jury

Trial

Sentenced

4,991

2,418

844

139

314

324

Number of Inmates
Average Length of Stay

0

Data Source: CCIS Statewide dataset compiled on 10/03/2012

The most common serious charge for defendants pending trial were drug related offenses (17.6%), followed by aggravated assault and robbery (13.4% and 13.3%, respectively).13 It is worthy to note that 5.8% of all pretrial inmates were charged with murder. The pretrial population is broken down by most serious charge category and can be found in Table 10.
Table 10. Pretrial Population by Most Serious Charge
Females

Males

Total %

Burglary

0.54%

8.84%

9.38%

Drug

1.80%

15.66%

17.47%

Other

1.78%

10.60%

12.38%

Sex Offense

0.05%

2.48%

2.53%

Supervision Viol

0.23%

1.27%

1.50%

Theft/Fraud

1.33%

6.13%

7.46%

Traffic

0.17%

1.73%

1.90%

Violent

3.13%

35.96%

39.09%

Weapon

0.26%

8.04%

8.30%

Total

9.29%

90.71%

100.00%

Data Source: CCIS Statewide dataset compiled on 10/03/2012

13	 It should be noted that while “Other” is the second largest offense category for pretrial inmates (15.4%), this category is an aggregation of offenses that when considered individually are statistically insignificant.

13

Other Population
Inmates in custody on October 3, 2012 with a primary custody status of “Other” were held for reasons other than serving a sentence or pending trial, including detainer, family
court hold, fugitive, juvenile court hold, pending supervision violation (Intensive Supervision Probation [ISP], parole and probation), and protective custody. Inmates having
an “Other” primary custody status account for 10.7% of the
jail population.

Held-on-Bail Only
As stated previously, nearly three-fourths of the jail population had a primary custody status of pretrial (Superior
and Municipal Courts). A closer examination of those inmates reveals that just over 5,000 inmates, or 38.5% of the
total population, had an option to post bail but were held
in custody solely due to their inability to meet the terms

of bail. This means that the inmates were not serving a
sentence, had no holds or detainers, and could have been
released if they were able to post bail in the form of cash,
cash/bond, 10% option or support arrears.
Table 11 contains the bail amount ranges by bail post option for inmates who were held on bail only. When considering the 10% Deposit Option and the Cash or Bond
Option, which allows for payment of approximately 10%
to a private surety, 14 there were approximately 800 inmates held in custody who could have secured their release
for $500 or less. Considering the same circumstances, an
additional 259 inmates could have secured their release
for between $501 and $1,000 and an additional 489 inmates could have secured their release for between $1,001
and $2500. When these groups are combined, there were
1,547 inmates (12% of the entire population) who were
held in custody due to an inability to pay $2500 or less.15

Table 11. Inmates Held on Bail Only by Amount and Bail Post Option
Total Bail Amount

Cash

Cash or Bond

10% Deposit
Option

Support Arrears

Total

$1 to $5000

65

676

126

6

873

$5,001 to $10,000

12

152

104

2

270

$10,001 to $25,000

14

290

199

2

505

$25,001 to $50,000

98

635

207

2

942

$50,001 to $75,000

38

367

49

1

455

$75,001 to $100,000

56

416

18

0

490

$100,001 to $200,000

81

520

15

0

616

$200,001 to $300,000

48

258

3

0

309

$300,001 or Greater

128

415

2

1

546

Total

540

3729

723

14

5006

Data Source: CCIS Statewide dataset compiled on 10/03/2012

14	 New Jersey uses a private bail surety system. Bail agents and the insurance company backing the bonds are monetarily responsible for
defendants released on private surety bail. Some states have legally banned the use of private surety but it remains the most common form of bail
option in the U.S.
15	 Note that two counties are not included in these numbers; therefore, presumably the actual number would be higher.

14

Summary of Key Findings
The goal of the current study was to examine New Jersey’s jail population in order to identify opportunities to responsibly reduce the number of people incarcerated in county jails while maintaining public safety and the integrity of the
judicial process. Information related to criminal justice system trends and key stakeholder agencies (e.g., crime rate,
incident, and arrest statistics; law enforcement; prosecutor; public defender; and the courts) were also examined to provide context to the population profile results and to aid in the identification of appropriate opportunities to responsibly
reduce the jail population.
Undoubtedly the New Jersey County Jail System is a complex organization, with 21 counties operating 22 county facilities and utilizing three private facilities to house approximately 15,000 inmates daily. Acknowledging these complexities, the study was still able to identify a common theme across all counties – a majority of inmates in the county jail
system are pending trial. In fact, nearly three-fourths of all New Jersey jail inmates were pending trial or sentencing in
either Superior Court (66%) or Municipal Court (7%).
The large number and percentages of pretrial inmates appear to be caused by three primary factors.
1.	 According to the AOC Management Statistics as of June 2012 a.	 forty-one percent of the total active pending cases in the Municipal Court were in backlog status;
b.	 more than half (53%) of the Superior Court criminal cases pre-indictment were considered to be in backlog
status; and
c.	 forty-five percent of the criminal cases post-indictment were considered to be in backlog status.
2.	 As of the day the jail snapshot was taken, inmates who had been indicted but had not yet had a trial had been in
custody on average 314 days.
3.	 Twelve percent of the entire jail population was held in custody solely due to an inability to pay $2500 or less to
secure their release pending disposition.
Considering the above facts, it appears that the greatest opportunities to responsibly reduce New Jersey’s jail popula	tion are related to more efficiently and effectively managing the pretrial population. More research should be done in
this area to identify the best solutions, which may include reducing the backlog in the Courts at all levels and developing
and/or expanding alternatives to pretrial detention. It must be acknowledged that the court case processing backlog
is the responsibility of many key justice stakeholders including the Court, Prosecutor, Public Defender, Defense Bar, Law
Enforcement, and others. In addition, reducing case backlog and developing and/or expanding alternatives to pretrial
detention in combination could substantially reduce the average length of stay, thereby responsibly reducing the jail
population.

15

Appendix A - New Jersey County Jails Overview (by County)
County

County Jail Location Number of County
Jail Facilities16

Atlantic

Mays Landing

1

1985

888

Bergen

Hackensack

1

2000

1,187

Burlington

Mount Holly

2

1989

625

County DOC

Camden

Camden

1

1988

1,273

County DOC

Cape May

Cape May

1

1976

276

Sheriff’s Office

Cumberland Bridgeton

1

1980

550

County DOC

Essex

Newark

1

2004

2,434

County DOC

Gloucester

Woodbury

1

1983

225

County DOC

Hudson

South Kearny

1

2007

2,080

County DOC

Hunterdon

Flemington

1

1984

156

County DOC

Mercer

Lambertville

1

1992

824

County DOC

Middlesex

N. Brunswick

1

1991

1,436

County DOC

Monmouth

Freehold

1

1993

1,362

Sheriff’s Office

Morris

Morristown

1

2001

524

Sheriff’s Office

Ocean

Toms River

1

2011

692

County DOC

Passaic

Paterson

1

1954

1,283

Sheriff’s Office

Salem

Woodstown

1

1994

464

Sheriff’s Office

Somerset

Somerville

1

N/A

440

Sheriff’s Office

Sussex

Newton

1

1978

205

Sheriff’s Office

Union

Elizabeth

1

1989

1,338

County DOC

Warren

Belvidere

1

1985

205

County DOC

Total

22

Year County Jail
Constructed (or Significant Renovation/
Expansion)17

Authorized Operational
Capacity18 Responsibility

County DOC
Sheriff’s Office

18.467

16	 With the exception of Atlantic and Somerset counties, the information was provided by the County in response to the informal survey. For
Atlantic and Somerset counties, the number of county jail facilities was confirmed by the New Jersey Department of Corrections: Office of Community Programs and Outreach Services.
17	 With the exception of Atlantic and Somerset counties, the information was provided by the County in response to the informal survey. Date
for construction or renovation/expansion of Atlantic County Jail was obtained from the Jail’s website (http://www.aclink.org/publicsafety/mainpages/adult_det.asp). A reliable source of similar data for Somerset County could not be identified.
18	 Based upon DOC jail inspection reports provided by the New Jersey Department of Corrections: Office of Community Programs and Outreach
Services.

16

Appendix B - New Jersey Crime Rate and Incident Statistics by
County 2011
Crime Index by County 2011
County

Crime Index Total

Atlantic

10,801

39.3

5.1

34.3

Bergen

12,324

13.6

1.0

12.7

9,076

20.2

1.5

18.8

Camden

20,809

40.5

6.5

34.0

Cape May

4,865

50.0

3.2

46.8

Cumberland

7,041

44.9

5.4

39.5

27,730

35.4

7.0

28.4

8,048

27.9

1.5

26.4

15,738

24.8

4.8

20.0

Hunterdon

1,131

8.8

.06

8.2

Mercer

9,674

26.4

4.4

22.0

Middlesex

16,581

20.5

1.8

18.6

Monmouth

Burlington

Essex
Gloucester
Hudson

Crime Rate Per 1,000

Violent Crime Rate
Per 1,000

Non-Violent Crime
Rate Per 1,000

14,957

23.7

1.8

21.9

Morris

6,166

12.5

.08

11.7

Ocean

12,570

21.8

1.1

20.7

Passaic

14,169

28.3

4.9

23.3

Salem

1,776

26.9

2.9

24.0

Somerset

4,596

14.2

0.8

13.4

Sussex

1,767

11.8

0.5

11.3

Union

15,481

28.9

4.4

24.5

Warren

1,773

16.3

1.0

15.3

Data Source: New Jersey State Police Crime in New Jersey, 2011 report Section VII

17

Appendix C - New Jersey Municipal Court Case Statistics
2008 - 2012
Filings

Resolutions

Active Pending (for
June)

Backlog (for June)

Backlog Percent (for
June)

2008

929,218

5,617,880

6,547,098

2009

921,029

5,388,234

6,309,263

2010

924,138

5,155,552

6,079,690

2011

865,999

5,183,064

6,049,063

2012

845,014

5,284,840

6,129,854

2008

851,007

5,641,583

6,492,590

2009

895,385

5,512,936

6,408,321

2010

876,083

5,172,107

6,048,190

2011

833,052

5,208,497

6,041,549

2012

812,573

5,312,488

6,125,061

2008

131,455

850,380

981,835

2009

122,044

760,881

882,925

2010

122,259

768,316

890,575

2011

110,959

754,279

865,238

2012

117,166

739,182

856,348

2008

67,478

407,100

474,578

2009

58,890

346,909

405,799

2010

59,927

331,833

391,760

2011

55,635

323,661

379,296

2012

60,541

291,698

352,239

2008

51%

48%

48%

2009

48%

46%

46%

2010

49%

43%

44%

2011

50%

43%

44%

2012

52%

39%

41%

Data Source: New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts Court Management Statistics 2008 - 2012

18

Appendix D- CCIS Primary Custody Codes in Priority Order
Sentenced
State Sentence Pending Transfer State Prison
State Sentence State Contract
State Sentence Governor Executive Order
Sentenced Superior Court In-House
Sentenced Superior Court Work Release
Sentenced Superior Court Drug Court
Sentenced Municipal Court In-House
Sentenced Municipal Court Work Release
Sentenced Superior Court Weekend
Sentenced Municipal Court Weekend
Pretrial
Superior Court Pending Sentence
Superior Court Pending Trial
Superior Court Pending Pretrial Conference
Superior Court Pending Arraignment
Superior Court Pending Grand Jury
Superior Court Pending First Appearance
Superior Court Pending Remand Court
Superior Court Pending Drug Court
Municipal Court Pending Sentence
Municipal Court Pending Trial
Municipal Court Pending First Appear
Other
Pending Violation of Probation
Pending Parole Violation
Pending ISP Violation
Family Court Hold
Material Witness
Juvenile Court Hold
Temporary Custody
Protective Custody
Federal Prisoner
Detainer
Fugitive
Other
INS Detainee
USM Detainee

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