Tragedies from the passage of New Jersey bail reform laws have never been more heartbreaking than what happened this month when Ronald Rebernik was released on his own personal recognizance under the NJ Bail Reform Act from a drug charge one day and killed a 1 year-old baby while driving drunk the next.
New Jersey bail reform has been a complete disaster with story after story of dangerous criminals released back on the streets with no incentive to show up to court or stay out of trouble. In 2017 New Jersey eliminated most cash bail and removed judicial oversight by requiring the use of risk assessment tools that uses a computer algorithm to decide if the defendant’s criminal history makes him a flight risk or likely to commit another crime.
New Jersey Bail Reform is Creating a Public Safety Crisis
Clearly Ronald Rebernik is a case study in the failure of New Jersey bail reform. The rush by several states such as New Jersey, New Mexico, Kentucky, and Alaska, and also cities such as Houston and Baltimore, to turn over judicial oversight of the bail bond process to a computer has allowed dangerous people like Rebernik back out on the street with a hope and a prayer that they will stay out of trouble and show up for their court date.
Ronald Rebernik, 62, was arrested July 7 on drug possession and released with no cash bail under New Jersey’s lax bail reform laws. Hours later, he was high and driving drunk when his car jumped a curb and ran over a 1 year old baby and injured the baby’s mother and 5-year-old son. The devastation afflicted on this family is a direct result of New Jersey’s march to protect criminals over protecting the public.
In Texas we’re fighting back! The Houston experiment, forced on the county by a federal judge, has created a revolving door for criminals and has inflicted even more violence on communities in Harris County. You can help us stop bail reform in its tracks in Texas. Call your mayor, call your sheriff, call your legislator. Tell them to protect families first.