Pretrial Release Reforms
Concerned about the number of individuals detained in New Jersey's jails because they lacked the resources to post bail as well as the disparate impact the state's current pretrial system was having on black and Latinx populations, in 2013 the New Jersey Supreme Court established a special committee to consider potential reforms. Their recommendations led to legislation which overhauled the NJ pretrial system. It included a constitutional amendment permitting certain individuals to be detained without bail, included the adoption of a statewide risk assessment tool (the PSA) and decision-making framework, an increase in the use of summons for minor offenses, and re-oriented thinking so that an emphasis was placed upon the use of non-monetary conditions of release.
In the years that have followed, data indicates significant success, with NJ's pretrial population falling significantly, without any significant increase in rates of non-appearance for court or of re-arrest, although issues of racial disparity remain. See 2018 Report to the Governor and Legilsature for data.
NACDL PRETRIAL ADVOCACY TOOLS
To help defenders utilize the new statutory provisions, understand the data and limitations of the PSA and to advocate effectively for their client's pretrial release, NACDL, in partnership with the ACLU of New Jersey and the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, under a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, created The New Jersey Pretrial Justice Manual.
In 2018 NACDL added New Jersey Pretrial Advocacy videos on defender advocacy basics and an overview on New Jersey's pretrial policies.
Cross-Examination Trial Pack
NACDL’s new Cross-Examination Trial Pack includes three of our best-selling Cross-Examination resources: “Damage Control: Situational Cross-Examination Techniques Trial Guide”, "Ultimate Cross 2.0: Audio Recordings & Written Materials" and "Sample Cross-Examination Questions."
This masterful collection of cross-examination resources provide countless tips, techniques and strategies for a variety of criminal case-specific scenarios. Learn to cross-examine a variety of trial witnesses!
Death Investigation: Forensic Pathology in the Courtroom and Cause & Manner of Death (2022)
This unique program provides criminal defense lawyers with an accurate and clear overview of forensic pathology and the countless factors to consider in a death investigation and will methodically explain what happens during an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
You'll uncover the different types of medicolegal death investigations, what to request from your MDI expert, quality benchmarks for accreditation and certification, guidelines and standards, common terminology and frequently asked questions.
The Psychology of Persuasion & Storytelling for Criminal Defense Lawyers
This Trial Resource Guide is a masterful collection of practical tips, techniques and strategies focused solely on using the arts and sciences of persuasion to improve your storytelling skills at trial.
You'll learn how to master the ability to communicate with juries, deliver powerful openings and closings, perform convincing cross-examinations, use effective courtroom choreography and non-verbal communication, identify and develop the optimal theme and theory for your case, and offer compelling arguments during mitigation and sentencing.
Zealous Advocacy in Sexual Assault & Child Victims Cases (2022)
Defending charges of sexual assault and child abuse can be daunting — but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be.
Every year, NACDL identifies the hottest topics and most pressing issues when defending these cases, and brings-in nationally-renowned lawyers and experts to help you prepare for battle. This year’s 13th Annual Defending Sex Cases training program is our best yet; packed with topics and speakers you won’t want to miss!