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Danielsen Bill Expanding Medical Parole Eligibility Signed Into Law

State Assemblyman Joe Danielsen.

Legislation sponsored by state Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17) that would expand medical parole for non-violent inmates and cut costs at jails was signed into law Sept. 13 by Gov. Chris Christie.

The new law supplants one that granted limited medical parole for inmates who were deemed to have six month sor less to live.

Under the new law, inmates who have a medical condition requiring 24-hour care, and which developed after their incarceration, would be eligible for parole so long as they were also considered to not be a threat to the public.

“New Jersey can save millions of dollars in taxpayer money by using parole as an alternative to prison for individuals who will not present a danger to those around them,’ Danielsen, who is vice-chair of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee, said in a release about the bill signing. “This new law represents a forward-thinking, fiscally responsible vision of criminal justice.”

The new law also requires the state Parole Board to ensure that an inmate released on medical parole is eligible for Medicaid, and prohibits the denial of a Medicaid application because the applicant is incarcerated. In that case, Medicaid coverage would begin when the inmate is paroled.

The measure was approved by both houses of the state Legislature in July.

 

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