Monmouth Sheriff throws red flag at NJ’s consent order that releases inmates
A consent order being carried out in New Jersey to released hundreds of low level offenders, who meet certain criteria, from incarceration to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus is being met with some concerns.
In Monmouth County, Sheriff Shaun Golden has throw the red challenge flag saying that 21 inmates at the MC Correctional Facility in Freehold charged with resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, domestic violence and child endangerment offenses that even though they are eligible under the consent order should not be released.
"I think it's absurd and I do not believe that they should be released due to those underlying factors, offenses and victims," Sheriff Golden told WOBM News.
Sheriff Golden said that Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni has filed a contest which will be heard in front of a judge on Thursday.
"We identified 64 inmates in the consent order that would be "eligible" however 21 of those are under this contest before the judge and rightfully so," Sheriff Golden said. "Those cases should not be let out and we hope that the Prosecutor (Gramiccioni) wins those contests."
There are a couple other reasons Sheriff Golden explains as to why it would be better to have these particular inmates remain in the correctional facility, including its cleanliness and the amount of space to practice social distancing.
"We have space and distance available for the inmates in the facility and medically we have a really dedicated and exceptional medical and correctional staff," Sheriff Golden said. "One could make the argument that they would be best served to be in the facility and not out as a potential carrier or contagion in the community. I understand what the order was trying to accomplish however I think the order went a little far with including some of those offenses that I outlined."
Sheriff Golden explains that they have a very clean facility to begin with but they are taking extra precautions to ensure everyone inside is safe and healthy.
"We continued to move about the inmates so they maintain distance, rotating temperature taking is being done and moving the inmates into another area so we can sanitize those particular residual areas," Sheriff Golden said. "All our intakes from any other law enforcement agency are being greeted outside the facility and are being screened and having their temperature taken before even entering the facility."
If the screening and temperature is positive they are sent to the medical center, if negative they can go into the facility for a secondary screening checkpoint. If all negative they are put into general population.
Precautionary masks and gloves are worn by facility staff and inmates are regularly tested for a fever and symptoms of the coronavirus.
Another thing to understand with the consent order in effect is that there's a chance now that some of these inmates may not be coming back to the correctional facility.
"There will be some type of hearing or meeting on whether to send them to parole, commute their sentence all together or bring them back in to continue their sentence," Sheriff Golden said. "Those determinations per inmate were not made prior to their release so that's something that's still being questioned."
It'll be determined on a case by case basis on what happens to the remainder of the inmates sentence.
Before they are discharged though, the inmates are tested and screened for any symptoms regarding the coronavirus and are asked questions such as do you have a place to reside? and are you feeling any symptoms or have you been tested for Covid-19 or have a temperature?
The other questions asks them if they actually want to leave or just stay inside and serve the remainder of their sentence now.
One of the inmates at the Monmouth County Correctional Facility took that offer to stay in the jail.
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