New Jersey taking steps to crack down on domestic violence
New Jersey is cracking down on domestic violence offenders. Recently, NJ Gov. Chris Christie had signed a bill that requires anyone charged with domestic violence to enter a guilty plea before entering into any pretrial intervention programs intended to cut down on jail time. In addition, the bill allows the courts to hand out prison sentences to first-time offenders.
This law shows that New Jersey will not tolerate domestic abuse. And it’s about time. According to a report by the New Jersey State Police, there were 65,060 domestic violence offenses reported in 2012. This was a 7 percent increase over the previous year. According to national statistics, nearly 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner each minute in the United States. In fact, one in three women and one in four men have been victims of physical abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
What exactly is a pretrial intervention program? A pretrial intervention program, also known as PTI, allows defendants a way to avoid any serious jail time under certain conditions. Generally, if an offender enters into a PTI, his offense will not go on record. However, thanks to the new law, domestic offenders are required to plead guilty before entering the program; although they may avoid jail time, they were still have criminal record.