GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt Says Murphy Prisoner Release Putting New Jersey in Danger

WARREN COUNTY, NJ – New Jersey Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt said Governor Phil Murphy’s Wednesday afternoon release of more than 2,000 convicted inmates at bus depots and train stations across the state is putting New Jersey residents at risk.

“Governor Murphy is killing New Jersey: it’s economy and residents. Now, he’s been caught trying to secretly release COVID positive criminals into your communities. Under a made up, COVID credit program, Murphy is releasing thousands of violent criminals tomorrow, not because they paid their debt to society, showed remorse for their crimes, or even behaved while behind bars, but solely because they were imprisoned during a pandemic,” Steinhardt said.  “A secret DOC memo made public by Senator Michael Testa makes clear that many of the prisoners Murphy’s letting loose are being released COVID-positive, into close quarter transportation centers like train stations and bus stops. This Governor’s mismanagement is as criminal as the criminals he’s letting out sick onto our streets. If our courts won’t prosecute him, we can’t elect him.  Send the first message today with Republican victories across the state.”

A confidential memo, allegedly being circulated by the New Jersey Department of Corrections that was made public today suggests the administration of Governor Phil Murphy is dropping off COVID-19 positive inmates across New Jersey at train stations and bus depots.

“The Division of Operations has been notified by the NJDOC Health Services Unit that we have few COVID positive inmates who are being release[sic] on November 4, 2020,” the memo reads. “As a result, you are required to ensure the following: Any COVID positive inmates(s) that is being released and is in need of transportation to a train/bus station, must be transported by the facility alone or cohort together.”

While New Jersey state workers have been given advance notice on the release of COVID-19 inmates, the general public has received no such warnings.  New Jersey state senator Michael Testa also criticized Murphy’s COVID-19 prisoner early release program.

“After subjecting law-abiding residents to draconian restrictions and enforcement actions to ‘stop the spread,’ we have an internal memo detailing how the Murphy administration is planning the early release of inmates who are known to be infected with COVID-19 into our community with no oversight or warning,” said Testa (R-1). “Even worse, those inmates will be released at transportation hubs where they’ll board trains and buses with unsuspecting passengers and employees who won’t realize they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. Instead of being forced to quarantine like everyone else, those sick inmates will have the opportunity to be super spreaders of the coronavirus all over New Jersey with bus and train tickets paid for by Governor Murphy.”