The New Jersey Senate has approved a bill that gives judges more discretion in sentencing nonviolent drug offenders. The measure, approved by a vote of 24-11, revises the drug-free school zone law, which calls for mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug crimes committed within 1,000 feet of a school.
Reform advocates say the existing law unfairly targets city residents and fills prisons with nonviolent offenders. The amended bill heads back to the Assembly, which easily passed a similar version. Gov. Corzine has indicated he will sign it.