New Jersey's legal system faces an overload of offenders accused of minor non-violent crimes.
While diversionary programs offer a method for a first-time offender to avoid a formal conviction, these programs do nothing to substantially reduce the caseload.
Under the British criminal justice system. police can give an adult a formal warning called a "caution", ordering they not re-offend in lieu of criminal prosecution, with their agreement. Cautions self-expunge after six years for adults and two years for juveniles.
If you're out for a night in London and get caught with a small amount of cannabis, cocaine or MDMA, you'd likely be issued a caution and sent on your way.
In New Jersey, you'd likely become a convicted felon, placed on probation with substantial fines.
Especially because we are a tourism dependent state, New Jersey should follow the British system and issues cautions instead of convictions for minor crimes.
TOMS RIVER NJ