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Handcuffs with gavel on a wood backgroundHandcuffs with gavel on a wood background (DenisLarkin)

New Jersey is about to embark on the most ambitious program of criminal justice reform in our collective memory. On Jan. 1, 2017, the state will shift from a system that relies principally on monetary bail as a condition of pretrial release to a relatively objective risk-based system, using both monetary and nonmonetary conditions and methods of pretrial supervision. No longer should poor defendants languish for months, or even years, in jail—separated from their homes, families and employment—because of the inability to meet relatively small amounts of bail.

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