The Morris County Sheriff’s Office has become the first agency in New Jersey to enter into a formal agreement with the State Administrative Office of the Courts to allow for electronic monitoring of select defendants prior to trial.
The memorandum of understanding between the Superior Court’s Morris/Sussex Vicinage and the Sheriff’s Bureau of Corrections, went into effect on Thursday, May 25.
Under terms of the agreement, defendants eligible to wear electronic monitoring devices are those arrested on a CDR-2/complaint warrant for an indictable crime or those arrested on disorderly persons’ offenses occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2017.
Prior to approval of pre-trial electronic monitoring, staff from the Administrative Office of the Courts will conduct a public safety assessment on each eligible defendant. The assessment would employ objective and research-based criteria to identify if a defendant could pose a danger to public safety or might fail to appear in court.
If a defendant passes the review, the respective court would consider electronic monitoring after hearing from prosecution and defense attorneys.
“Fundamentally, when a defendant receives a court order to wear an electronic monitoring device as part of pre-trial release, specially trained officers at the Morris County Correctional Facility will apply an ‘ankle bracelet’ on the defendant which will serve as a tracking device,’’ said Sheriff James M. Gannon.
Following application of the electronic monitoring device, the defendant will be released into the community and allowed to work and attend school until their case is resolved.
If a defendant does not comply with specific regulations set by the court, authorities at the Morris County Correctional Facility will take appropriate action as defined within the agreement.
The AOC is confident the working relationship with Morris County will be a success and is hopeful it will serve as a model for other New Jersey counties to follow.