New Jersey is about to pass a bill that would allow thousands of prisoners “COVID credits.” This means that if they have less than a certain amount of time left on their sentences, they will be released early so as to slow the spread of COVID-19 and any potential deaths that could be caused by it.

This has been done in other states, and it has always turned out to be a nightmare. But forget about the repercussions of allowing criminals early releases because we feel the need to “protect” them. Let’s talk about why the same care and concern could not have been given to the elderly.

Like his comrade Anthony Cuomo in New York, Gov. Phil Murphy and his decision to require those elderly people with COVID-19 to be returned back to their facilities caused thousands of deaths within the nursing home population. Were those lives more expendable than those of the prisoners? Let’s face it, whether the medical community chooses to acknowledge it or not, most people with the virus are going to be just fine.

The only people in the prison populations who are really at risk are those who are either elderly or have a lot of health problems to begin with. And yet, those who defend this bill bemoan the difficulty in keeping prisoners COVID-free in the cramped quarters that prisons tend to be. But why did we not protect the elderly like this in who resided in similarly close quarters?

The elderly didn’t have a choice. After they were diagnosed with COVID, and Murphy and the New Jersey powers that be didn’t know what to do with them, our leaders required to the assisted living facilities to take them back in. We knew that they had the biggest chance of dying from this disease from the very beginning. And yet we stood by while we stuck them back in facilities with others, spreading COVID like wildfire.

Supporters of this early release program loudly assert that “Prisoners' lives are not expendable!!!!!!!!!!” But it’s obvious from our treatment of the elderly that we believe that THEIR lives are.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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