A 2007 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that of pretrial releases:
- About one-third of released defendants were charged with one or more types of pretrial misconduct;
- Nearly one-fourth had a bench warrant issued for failing to appear in court; and
- About one-sixth were arrested for a new offense. More than half of these new arrests were for felonies
"New Jersey's law enforcement community applauds Governor Christie for his efforts to provide us with some of the same public safety tools that have been shown to work well in the federal criminal justice system," state Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said. "Under New Jersey's current Constitution, a judge is required to set bail for every defendant, without regard to the defendant's violent history. Our current bail system allows dangerous offenders back on the streets to threaten witnesses and intimidate whole neighborhoods while their cases are pending. The governor's proposal would amend the Constitution to authorize pretrial detention without bail when a judge finds it necessary to protect the community or the integrity of the criminal justice process."
If the amendment was approved by voters, the Legislature would be able to enact laws establishing procedures, terms and conditions applicable to pretrial release and detention.
In his State of the State address, Christie called for changes to amend New Jersey’s bail laws to allow judges to consider the factor of dangerousness to the state’s communities before a violent person is released back on to the streets, where they may maim or kill while they await trial.