SENATE, No. 888

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 17, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  DIANE B. ALLEN

District 7 (Burlington)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Allows Attorney General to prevent halfway house placement of murderers.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning placement of inmates in halfway houses and supplementing chapter 4 of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Notwithstanding the provisions of section 3 of P.L.1969, c.22 (C.30:4-91.3), the Commissioner of Corrections shall not authorize the placement of an inmate convicted of murder pursuant to N.J.S.2C:11-3 in any community-based halfway house or similar residential facility prior to the inmate's parole hearing unless the Attorney General or a designee determines that such a placement will not present a substantial risk to the safety of the community and is in the interest of justice.  In making this determination, the Attorney General or the designee shall hold a special hearing on the merits of the placement including its likely effect on the safety of the community, whether it is in the interest of justice and whether the punitive aspects of the sentence have been fulfilled.  The Attorney General shall notify the nearest relative of the murder victim of the opportunity to present a statement or testify at the hearing.  The relative's statement may include information concerning the continuing nature and extent of any physical harm or psychological or emotional harm or trauma suffered by the victim's family and the continuing effect of the crime upon the family.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill gives the Attorney General or a designee the authority to prevent the preparole transfer of a convicted murderer to a halfway house if the Attorney General or designee determines that such placement would create a substantial risk to the safety of the community or is not in the interest of justice.

     In making this determination, the Attorney General or the designee is required to hold a special hearing on the merits of the placement, including its effects on the community's safety, whether it is in the interest of justice and whether the punitive aspects of the inmate's sentence have been fulfilled.  At the hearing, the nearest relative of the murder victim would be given an opportunity to submit a statement or testify regarding the continuing nature and extent of any physical harm, psychological or emotional harm or trauma suffered by the victim's family and the continuing effect of the crime upon the family.