Bill to further protect victims of domestic violence received final legislative approval earlier this month and awaits signage by the governor
(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) on Monday called on the governor to help further protect victims of domestic violence against their abusers and sign Lisa’s Law, which would allow courts to order electronic monitoring of insubordinate domestic violence offenders.
The bill (A-321), which would establish a four-year pilot program in Ocean County for electronic monitoring of certain domestic violence offenders and notification to the victim when that offender is within a certain proximity, received final legislative approval and sent to the governor earlier this month. The bill is named after Letizia Zindell of Toms River who was murdered in 2009 by her former fiancé, Frank Frisco who later killed himself. Zindell had a restraining order against Frisco.
“Letizia Zindell did what she was supposed to do to protect herself against her abuser, but tragically it was not enough. He ignored the restraining order she filed against him, and killed her just a day after he was released from jail for violating that order. While it can help, a restraining order is only good if the offender abides by it,” said Singleton, a co-sponsor of the law. “We need a another means to protect victims of domestic violence against these type of offenders, and this bill provides that.”
The pilot program would apply to defendants charged with or convicted of contempt of a domestic violence order. In determining whether to place a defendant on electronic monitoring, the court may hold a hearing to consider the likelihood that the defendant’s participation in such monitoring would deter the defendant from injuring the victim. As part of the bill, the state Attorney General would be required to submit a report to the governor and the Legislature at the end of each year of the pilot, evaluating the program and recommending whether it should be continued statewide.
Singleton plans to attend a rally scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 on the steps of the state house to urge the governor to sign the bill.
“We are one step away from improving the safety of women who live in fear of what these individuals might be capable of. These individuals have shown no respect for these victims or the law,” said Singleton. “The bill was approved by the Assembly in June and by the Senate almost two weeks ago. With the governor’s support, we can give victims the peace of mind that their abusers will be monitored, and if they get too close for comfort, they will have advance notice to protect themselves.”