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
Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy Guide
NACDL’s Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence will assist criminal defense practitioners in scoring points when cross-examining forensic experts in cases involving DNA and biological evidence. This resource contains thousands of questions that will help defense lawyers cross-examine challenging witnesses without reinventing the wheel with each new case. It includes pattern questions that can be used to dominate prosecution DNA experts and level the playing field at trial.
Cross-Examination of the Analyst in Drug Prosecutions (2nd Ed.) By James M. Shellow
Now in its second edition with some new material, James M. Shellow’s book offers what its title promises: ways of thinking about cross-examining the forensic analysts in drug cases. But the book is so much more than that. It offers a look inside the mind of one of the finest cross-examiners and defense lawyers the United States has produced in the last seventy years. This small book can inspire and direct you in making big changes in the way you defend your clients and think about the entire project of trying any case.
Justice For All, Justice Now White T-Shirt (Women’s)
This custom, vintage-faded NACDL t-shirt is 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon weighing 5.2 oz. and is lightwieght, flexible and soft, providing maximum comfort. It features the "Justice For All, Justice Now" slogan and Lady Liberty image on the front, with the NACDL logo on the back. Currently available in both men's and women's sizes in both black and white colors. View the full line-up of colors and sizes on our online store, as well as our other popular and best-selling t-shirt designs at: nacdl.org/store.
Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection - CD-ROM
NACDL’s Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection is the sweeping culmination of every single article of written materials ever published from each installment of NACDL's annual "Defending Modern Drug Cases" seminar. Totaling over 12,000 pages, this vast collection includes 12+ years of motions, briefs, reports, outlines, transcripts, case citations, scholarly articles, powerpoints and other written commentaries. This collection provides trial strategies and tactics you can immediately apply to your current cases.
Mental Illness & the Law: Addressing and Litigating Behavioral Health Disorders in Criminal Cases
Whether it is insanity, impairment, a disorder, or adolescent brain development; mental health and intellectual competence issues affect pretrial supervision, trial and sentencing, and your chances of successfully advocating for your impaired client. This training provides ideas and proven solutions to assist you in advocating for your client during trial, whether it be insanity defenses, jury selection, cross of expert witnesses, persuasion, or mitigation at sentencing.