TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey will be releasing some state prisoners whose age or health put them at risk for COVID-19 infection, putting them either in home confinement or on parole.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the executive order during Friday’s coronavirus update to “preserve this balance between health on the one hand, and public safety on the other.”

Eligibility will also be determined for those who had been denied parole within the last year or whose sentences are set to expire within the next three months.

“I want to stress that no one convicted of a serious crime, such as murder, sexual assault, among others will be eligible for consideration,” said Murphy.

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Last month New Jersey’s Supreme Court has ordered some county jail inmates to be released in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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The order came the same day New Jersey saw an overnight jump of 3,627 new COVID-19 infections reported across the state, bringing the Garen State’s coronavirus total to 54,588 cases.

Murphy also noted the state had 233 new deaths reported due to coronavirus-related illness, bringing the total to 1,932 deaths since the outbreak began.

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Because of earlier reporting due to the Good Friday holiday, some of Friday’s overnight numbers may increase, said Murphy.

“This weekend is Easter weekend, and I know is one where we are used to gathering together as we do normally at Passover,” said Murphy. “We gathered normally at Easter to worship. We gather for children’s Easter egg hunts, for family meals with friends.

“We can’t do any of that this year,” he said. “I feel awful but we can’t. We have to leave the gathering to FaceTime or Zoom, or just simple phone calls and texts and emails to our family and friends. Instead of heading to church many of us will fire up our laptops for a live stream service. Staying apart this year is the surest way we’ll be able to gather again next Easter in the many Easter’s to come.”

Comments (4)
  1. Barbara says:

    What can we do if we have a family member in a state prison who has an Preexisting medical issue?

  2. jacqulyn says:

    No visits to prison at midstate, if he died in their ill never see him again , along with Ricky james another inmate who is now deceased after this past week !

  3. jacqulyn says:

    Prison inmates should be released just as well as county.There has already been death reported a mid state in Fort dix,NJ . Just because county inmates havent been sentenced yet what does that mean. Staurt Rabner can help these inmates be released from prisons. no way to social distance 40 men to a tier. some men are sick with improper medical care. THROWING men in prisons in lockdown without medical attention is barbaric. this will spread like wild fire and kill prison inmates just as fast or faster than county, it makes no sense. my husband ina non violent first time offender and it in Midstate. i am pregnant worried sick because he was playin ball with a man two days later he was dead. Unacceptable. No more programs or mental health no court dates. he should be home on a bracelet monitored until this is over ! he should be isolated with family. This is extremely dangerous and playing with fire.

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