Pretrial Release Reforms
Concerned about the number of individuals detained in New Jersey's jails because they lacked the resources to post bail as well as the disparate impact the state's current pretrial system was having on black and Latinx populations, in 2013 the New Jersey Supreme Court established a special committee to consider potential reforms. Their recommendations led to legislation which overhauled the NJ pretrial system. It included a constitutional amendment permitting certain individuals to be detained without bail, included the adoption of a statewide risk assessment tool (the PSA) and decision-making framework, an increase in the use of summons for minor offenses, and re-oriented thinking so that an emphasis was placed upon the use of non-monetary conditions of release.
In the years that have followed, data indicates significant success, with NJ's pretrial population falling significantly, without any significant increase in rates of non-appearance for court or of re-arrest, although issues of racial disparity remain. See 2018 Report to the Governor and Legilsature for data.
NACDL PRETRIAL ADVOCACY TOOLS
To help defenders utilize the new statutory provisions, understand the data and limitations of the PSA and to advocate effectively for their client's pretrial release, NACDL, in partnership with the ACLU of New Jersey and the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, under a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, created The New Jersey Pretrial Justice Manual.
In 2018 NACDL added New Jersey Pretrial Advocacy videos on defender advocacy basics and an overview on New Jersey's pretrial policies.
More on Pretrial New Jersey Pretrial Justice Manual New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform Information Center
A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence: A Trial Practice Handbook for Criminal Defense Attorneys
This Guide to Federal Evidence is the only federal evidence handbook written exclusively for criminal defense lawyers. The Guide analyzes each Federal Rule of Evidence and outlines the main evidentiary issues that confront criminal defense lawyers. It also summarizes countless defense favorable cases and provides tips on how to avoid common evidentiary pitfalls. The Guide contains multiple user-friendly flowcharts aimed at helping the criminal defense lawyer tackle evidence problems. A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence is an indispensable tool in preparing a case for trial.
Modern Digital Evidence & Technologies in Criminal Cases
Modern cases need modern defenses, and modern lawyers can't practice with an outdated playbook. This program is a contemporary training that identifies emerging technologies and digital evidence encountered in today's criminal cases and arms you with the tools necessary to combat expert witnesses, prosecutorial overreach, and an uneducated judge and jury. This comprehensive CLE program covers both general aspects of new technologies as well as practical courtroom application and legal challenges to the use of these new technologies.
Top Shelf DUI Defenses: The Law, The Science, The Techniques (2021)
If you are serious about being an effective DUI defense advocate, or if you’re considering adding DUI defenses to your portfolio, you need to know the latest scientific and legal strategies to optimize your success at trial. Learn from the best-of-the-best in the field in this unique CLE Program, updated for 2021.
Defending Modern Drug Cases (2021)
From challenging the arrest and seizure to picking a jury and cross-examining police officers, defense attorneys handling drug cases must be able to construct a defense that will increase the chances of the client getting a positive result for your client.
Effective motion practice, juror selection, and storytelling have never been more important. This seminar will introduce defense counsel to techniques that have been used at recent drug trials to rebut specific claims and overcome the emotion created in today’s criminal legal system.