October 20, 2020
Gov. Murphy signed into law S2519/A4235, which lets people nearing end of prison sentences go home months early
TRENTON – In a victory for racial justice and public health, Gov. Murphy on Oct. 19 signed into law S2519/A4235, championed by Senator Nellie Pou and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, to save lives from the COVID-19 pandemic. The law, which is the first of its kind in the United States, implements public health emergency credits that will allow for the early release of incarcerated people nearing the end of their sentences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy sets a standard for other states as infections rate climb nationally, especially in prisons, which are known as Petri dishes for viral spread.
“This law unfortunately comes too late to save my son Rory, who died of COVID-19 just weeks before he was to come home – but, thankfully, it can save other mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and countless loved ones the heartbreak I have been through from knowing my child’s death could have been prevented. I thank the Legislature and Gov. Murphy for paying tribute to my beautiful son’s life by making sure fewer lives are lost to this virus,” said Bernice Ferguson, whose son Rory Price died of COVID-19 in March.