Ankle Monitoring Program for Domestic Violence Perps in Ocean County Approved

TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey Senate has approved a bill introduced by Senator Troy Singleton that aims to enhance the enforcement of domestic violence restraining orders through electronic monitoring. This legislation, known as S-1385, initiates a four-year pilot program in Ocean County, targeting certain domestic violence offenders.

The bill is inspired by the tragic case of Letizia “Lisa” Zindell of Toms River, who was murdered by her former fiancé shortly after his release from jail for violating a restraining order she had filed against him. Senator Singleton has championed this cause for years, facing previous setbacks including a veto by former Governor Chris Christie in 2014.

Senator Singleton highlighted that over twenty states have already implemented similar laws. “The technology to enable this monitoring clearly exists, and it is long past time that New Jersey utilized it for the protection of victims and the prevention of more tragic crimes,” he stated.

Under the proposed legislation, the court will determine the appropriateness of electronic monitoring as a deterrent against further offenses. Importantly, such monitoring would only proceed with the informed consent of the victim.

Additionally, the bill stipulates that offenders may be required to bear the costs associated with electronic monitoring and victim notification, including a standard monitoring fee of $250, though this can be waived under conditions of extreme financial hardship.

The legislation also proposes enhanced civil penalties for domestic violence offenses, including a $200 penalty for acts of domestic violence and a $250 civil penalty for convictions related to domestic violence or contempt of restraining orders.

This pilot program in Ocean County is seen as a critical step towards strengthening victim protections and ensuring stricter compliance with restraining orders in New Jersey.

Click here for the full article