NEW JERSEY – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal issued a statewide directive to law enforcement Monday, instructing prosecutors to waive mandatory parole disqualifiers—commonly known as mandatory minimum prison terms—for non-violent drug offenses.
"We cannot stand by and ignore the unjust and racially disparate impact of these mandatory minimum terms on non-violent drug offenders—primarily young persons of color," Governor Phil Murphy said. "It's been well over a year since the Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission unanimously concluded that these mandatory minimums must be eliminated, and still justice is delayed and denied. We are through with waiting. My decision to return the bill on my desk to reflect the Commission's recommendations is made substantially easier because of Attorney General Grewal's strong action to stop these unfair prison sentences."
Directive 2021-4 addresses both current and past cases. Going forward, it directs prosecutors to waive the mandatory minimum terms associated with any non-violent drug offense under New Jersey law. In addition, when requested by an individual who remains in prison solely because of a mandatory minimum term for a non-violent drug offense, prosecutors will file a joint application to rescind the mandatory period of parole ineligibility, so that, in effect, the individual's modified sentence will be as if no mandatory minimum had been imposed.