ASSEMBLY JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

ASSEMBLY, No. 3692

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  FEBRUARY 11, 2013

 

      The Assembly Judiciary Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 3692.

      This bill would require that crime witnesses be notified of the defendant’s release from custody under certain circumstances. Under current law, only crime victims or their relatives must be so notified. The statutes requiring victim notification are set out below:

·        Section 1 of P.L.1994, c.137 (C.2C:25-26.1) provides that whenever a defendant charged with a crime or an offense involving domestic violence is released from custody the prosecutor must notify the victim;

·        Section 15 of P.L.1998, c.71 (C.30:4-27.38) provides that the county Office of Victim and Witness Advocacy must notify the victim of a sexually violent offense or, if the victim died as a result of the offense, the victim’s nearest relative, of the release from custody of a person committed as a sexually violent predator;

·        Section 1 of P.L.1998, c.68 (C.30:4-91.8) provides that the county Office of Victim and Witness Advocacy must notify victims of certain serious crimes or their relatives that the defendant is subject to a review by an Institutional Classification Committee which may result in his participation in a residential community release program;

·        Section 1 of P.L.1994, c.135 (C.30:4-123.53a) requires notification to victims of the anticipated release from incarceration of persons convicted of certain serious crimes; and

·        Section 6 of P.L.1985, c.404 (C.52:4B-44), which governs the standards for law enforcement agencies to ensure the rights of crime victims, provides that victims are entitled to notification of: the defendant's escape from custody; any other release from custody, including placement in an Intensive Supervision Program or other alternative disposition; the inmate’s filing of an application for commutation of sentence; the inmate’s parole consideration; and the pending release of an inmate due to expiration of sentence.

      This bill would amend these statutory sections to require the county Office of Victim and Witness Advocacy or prosecutor, in addition to notifying the victim, to also notify any witness to the crime who has requested such notification.