TRENTON - The Democratic-controlled New Jersey Legislature sent a bill to Gov. Christie's desk last week that would increase compensation to those who serve time after being wrongfully convicted of a crime. It now awaits the Republican governor's signature.
The compensation, which would be awarded after a lawsuit, now stands at $20,000 for each year of incarceration, or more if the claimant's income was greater than that higher before incarceration. The amount would increase to $50,000 per year of incarceration. The bill would allow for five-year adjustments to that amount, based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.
The proposal also would make the wrongfully convicted eligible for vocational training, tuition assistance, counseling, housing assistance, and health insurance coverage.