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New Jersey Bill Proposes Increased Jail Time For Assaulting Officers, Disease Testing Requirements

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A new bill introduced by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in New Jersey would increase penalties against people who assault correctional officers and law enforcement officers in the state, Dana Difilippo reports for the New Jersey Monitor. The law would also require those who assault officers with bodily fluids to be tested for communicable diseases, in response to an exceptional number of reported assaults involving bodily fluids like feces in New Jersey’s Department of Corrections in FY 2022. 

The law will attempt to override existing privacy protections that prevent the disclosure of medical information without consent (like if someone is diagnosed with a communicable disease) and existing maximum penalties for assaulting a law enforcement officer which are capped at 18 months and five years for fourth and third-degree convictions, respectively. Under the proposed law, all convictions for assaulting an officer would be promoted to a second-degree crime, increasing the mandatory minimum penalty to five years in prison. The law would also bar those charge from pleading guilty to a lesser charge. 

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