SENATE, No. 1029

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 23, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes the “Domestic Violence Victim Protection Pilot Program.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act establishing a pilot program for satellite-based monitoring of domestic violence offenders and amending and supplementing P.L.1991, c.261.

 

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

 

     1.    (New section)  This act may be known and shall be cited as the “Domestic Violence Victim Protection Pilot Program Act.”

 

     2.    (New section)  a. The Attorney General shall establish a pilot program of up to three years in duration in one or more counties for the continuous, satellite-based monitoring of no more than 500 persons charged with or convicted of a crime or offense involving domestic violence as defined in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19), which program may be implemented in coordination with the State Parole Board and the Administrative Office of the Courts, and which shall be contingent upon the availability of federal funding made available to the Attorney General through the Violence Against Women Act, P.L. 106-386, or a comparable federal funding source.  The Attorney General may contract with one or more vendors to establish and maintain an electronic monitoring program pursuant to this act.

     b.    The monitoring system, at a minimum, shall provide:

     (1)   time-correlated or continuous tracking of the geographic location of the monitored person using a global positioning system based on satellite and other location technology; and

     (2)   immediate notification to law enforcement or other monitors of an entry into a defined geographic exclusion zone that the monitored person is barred from entering.

     c.     The Attorney General may promulgate guidelines to effectuate the provisions of this act, and shall establish criteria governing a prosecutor’s determination of whether to seek to require a person charged with or convicted of a crime or offense involving domestic violence as defined in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19) to submit to electronic monitoring.

     d.    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the Attorney General, chairman of the State Parole Board, and federal, State, county and municipal law enforcement agencies may share criminal incident information with each other and the vendor selected to provide and administer the monitoring equipment for the program.  The Superior Court may, pursuant to court rules or directives, share information regarding domestic violence defendants, restraint, and violations with law enforcement agencies and the vendor selected to implement the pilot program authorized under this act.

     e.     The Attorney General shall submit a report evaluating the effectiveness of the pilot program to the Governor and the Legislature within 90 days upon completion of the pilot program. The report shall recommend whether the pilot program should be continued as a Statewide program.

 

     3.    (New section)  a.  In addition to any other disposition provided for in Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, a person charged with or convicted of a crime or offense involving domestic violence as defined in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19) may, in addition to any other disposition authorized by law, be required to submit to electronic monitoring by wearing a global positioning satellite tracking device designed to transmit and record the person’s location data and be prohibited from having contact with the complainant or victim through the establishment of defined geographic exclusion zones as recommended by the prosecutor, including, but not limited to, the areas in and around the complainant’s or victim’s residence and place of employment, and the school attended by the complainant’s or victim’s child.

     b.    If a person subject to electronic monitoring pursuant to P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) enters a defined exclusion zone, the person’s location data shall be immediately transmitted to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the zone and to the complainant or victim, through an appropriate means including, but not limited to, the telephone, an electronic beeper or a paging device.  A monitored person shall be subject to civil contempt, criminal contempt, revocation of bail, probation or parole, or any combination of these sanctions and any other sanctions authorized by law, for a violation of any prohibition or requirement imposed pursuant to this act.  A law enforcement officer may arrest a person when an officer has probable cause to believe that the monitored person has violated the terms of any order, condition of release, probation or parole, or other disposition authorized by P.L.    , c.    (C.        )(pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     4.    (New section)  a.  In addition to any other sanctions that a court or the State Parole Board may impose, a monitored person who purposely or knowingly enters into a geographically defined exclusion zone established pursuant to section 3 of P.L.    , c.     (C.        )(pending before the Legislature as section 3 of this bill) shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

     b.    Any person who tampers with, removes or vandalizes a device worn or utilized by a monitored person pursuant to P.L.    , c.     (C.        )(pending before the Legislature as this bill) is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

     5.    (New section)  a.  In accordance with section 3 of P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as section 3 of this bill), in the case of a person who has been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity for a crime or offense involving domestic violence as defined in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19), the Superior Court or municipal court may, in addition to any other disposition, order that the person submit to electronic monitoring via global positioning satellite technology in addition to prohibitions on contact with the victim through the establishment of defined geographic exclusion zones as recommended by the prosecutor and authorized pursuant to section 3 of P.L.    , c.    (C.       )(pending before the Legislature as section 3 of this bill).

     b.    The  Superior Court or municipal court shall not consider the availability of electronic monitoring as a factor in determining whether to impose a sentence of imprisonment, suspend the imposition of sentence or sentence the defendant to be placed on probation.

 

     6.    Section 10 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-26) is amended to read as follows:

     10.  a.  When a defendant charged with a crime or offense involving domestic violence is released from custody before trial on bail or personal recognizance, the court authorizing the release may as a condition of release issue an order prohibiting the defendant from having any contact with the victim including, but not limited to, restraining the defendant from entering the victim's residence, place of employment or business, or school, and from harassing or stalking the victim or victim's relatives in any way.  In accordance with section 3 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      )(pending before the Legislature as section 3 of this bill), the court may also as a condition of release issue an order requiring the defendant submit to electronic monitoring via global positioning satellite technology and prohibiting contact with the victim through the establishment of defined geographic exclusion zones as recommended by the prosecutor and authorized pursuant to section 3 of P.L.    ,  c.     (C.       )(pending before the Legislature as section 3 of this bill).  The court shall not consider the availability of electronic monitoring as a factor in determining whether to release the defendant from custody before trial on bail or personal recognizance.  The court may enter an order prohibiting the defendant from possessing any firearm or other weapon enumerated in subsection r. of N.J.S.2C:39-1 and ordering the search for and seizure of any such weapon at any location where the judge has reasonable cause to believe the weapon is located.  The judge shall state with specificity the reasons for and scope of the search and seizure authorized by the order.

     b.    The written court order releasing the defendant shall contain the court's directives specifically restricting the defendant's ability to have contact with the victim or the victim's friends, co-workers or relatives and, if applicable, establishing defined geographic exclusion zones as recommended by the prosecutor for the electronic monitoring of the defendant via global positioning satellite technology in conformance with section 3 of P.L.    , c.    (C.       )(pending before the Legislature as section 3 of this bill).  The clerk of the court or other person designated by the court shall provide a copy of this order to the victim forthwith.

     c.     The victim's location shall remain confidential and shall not appear on any documents or records to which the defendant has access.

     d.    Before bail is set, the defendant's prior record shall be considered by the court.  The court shall also conduct a search of the domestic violence central registry.  Bail shall be set as soon as is feasible, but in all cases within 24 hours of arrest.

     e.     Once bail is set it shall not be reduced without prior notice to the county prosecutor and the victim.  Bail shall not be reduced by a judge other than the judge who originally ordered bail, unless the reasons for the amount of the original bail are available to the judge who reduces the bail and are set forth in the record.

     f.     A victim shall not be prohibited from applying for, and a court shall not be prohibited from issuing, temporary restraints pursuant to this act because the victim has charged any person with commission of a criminal act.

(cf: P.L.1999, c.421, s.2)

 

     7.    Section 13 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-29) is amended to read as follows:

     13.  a.  A hearing shall be held in the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court within 10 days of the filing of a complaint pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-28) in the county where the ex parte restraints were ordered, unless good cause is shown for the hearing to be held elsewhere. A copy of the complaint shall be served on the defendant in conformity with the Rules of Court. If a criminal complaint arising out of the same incident which is the subject matter of a complaint brought under P.L.1981, c.426 (C.2C:25-1 et seq.) or P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et seq.) has been filed, testimony given by the plaintiff or defendant in the domestic violence matter shall not be used in the simultaneous or subsequent criminal proceeding against the defendant, other than domestic violence contempt matters and where it would otherwise be admissible hearsay under the rules of evidence that govern where a party is unavailable. At the hearing the standard for proving the allegations in the complaint shall be by a preponderance of the evidence. The court shall consider but not be limited to the following factors:

     (1)   The previous history of domestic violence between the plaintiff and defendant, including threats, harassment and physical abuse;

     (2)   The existence of immediate danger to person or property;

     (3)   The financial circumstances of the plaintiff and defendant;

     (4)   The best interests of the victim and any child;

     (5)   In determining custody and parenting time the protection of the victim’s safety; [and]

     (6)   The existence of a verifiable order of protection from another jurisdiction; and

     (7)   Any previous conviction against the defendant involving domestic violence.

     An order issued under this act shall only restrain or provide damages payable from a person against whom a complaint has been filed under this act and only after a finding or an admission is made that an act of domestic violence was committed by that person. The issue of whether or not a violation of this act occurred, including an act of contempt under this act, shall not be subject to mediation or negotiation in any form. In addition, where a temporary or final order has been issued pursuant to this act, no party shall be ordered to participate in mediation on the issue of custody or parenting time.

     b.    In proceedings in which complaints for restraining orders have been filed, the court shall grant any relief necessary to prevent further abuse. In addition to any other provisions, any restraining order issued by the court shall bar the defendant from purchasing, owning, possessing or controlling a firearm and from receiving or retaining a firearms purchaser identification card or permit to purchase a handgun pursuant to N.J.S.2C:58-3 during the period in which the restraining order is in effect or two years whichever is greater, except that this provision shall not apply to any law enforcement officer while actually on duty, or to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or member of the National Guard while actually on duty or traveling to or from an authorized place of duty. At the hearing the judge of the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court may issue an order granting any or all of the following relief:

     (1)   An order restraining the defendant from subjecting the victim to domestic violence, as defined in this act.

     (2)   An order granting exclusive possession to the plaintiff of the residence or household regardless of whether the residence or household is jointly or solely owned by the parties or jointly or solely leased by the parties. This order shall not in any manner affect title or interest to any real property held by either party or both jointly. If it is not possible for the victim to remain in the residence, the court may order the defendant to pay the victim’s rent at a residence other than the one previously shared by the parties if the defendant is found to have a duty to support the victim and the victim requires alternative housing.

     (3)   An order providing for parenting time. The order shall protect the safety and well-being of the plaintiff and minor children and shall specify the place and frequency of parenting time. Parenting time arrangements shall not compromise any other remedy provided by the court by requiring or encouraging contact between the plaintiff and defendant. Orders for parenting time may include a designation of a place of parenting time away from the plaintiff, the participation of a third party, or supervised parenting time.

     (a)   The court shall consider a request by a custodial parent who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with parenting time rights to a child in the parent’s custody for an investigation or evaluation by the appropriate agency to assess the risk of harm to the child prior to the entry of a parenting time order. Any denial of such a request must be on the record and shall only be made if the judge finds the request to be arbitrary or capricious.

     (b)   The court shall consider suspension of the parenting time order and hold an emergency hearing upon an application made by the plaintiff certifying under oath that the defendant’s access to the child pursuant to the parenting time order has threatened the safety and well-being of the child.

     (4)   An order requiring the defendant to pay to the victim monetary compensation for losses suffered as a direct result of the act of domestic violence. The order may require the defendant to pay the victim directly, to reimburse the Victims of Crime Compensation Board for any and all compensation paid by the Victims of Crime Compensation Board directly to or on behalf of the victim, and may require that the defendant reimburse any parties that may have compensated the victim, as the court may determine. Compensatory losses shall include, but not be limited to, loss of earnings or other support, including child or spousal support, out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained, cost of repair or replacement of real or personal property damaged or destroyed or taken by the defendant, cost of counseling for the victim, moving or other travel expenses, reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, and compensation for pain and suffering. Where appropriate, punitive damages may be awarded in addition to compensatory damages.

     (5)   An order requiring the defendant to receive professional domestic violence counseling from either a private source or a source appointed by the court and, in that event, requiring the defendant to provide the court at specified intervals with documentation of attendance at the professional counseling. The court may order the defendant to pay for the professional counseling. No application by the defendant to dissolve a final order which contains a requirement for attendance at professional counseling pursuant to this paragraph shall be granted by the court unless, in addition to any other provisions required by law or conditions ordered by the court, the defendant has completed all required attendance at such counseling.

     (6)   An order restraining the defendant from entering the residence, property, school, or place of employment of the victim or of other family or household members of the victim and requiring the defendant to stay away from any specified place that is named in the order and is frequented regularly by the victim or other family or household members.

     (7)   An order restraining the defendant from making contact with the plaintiff or others, including an order forbidding the defendant from personally or through an agent initiating any communication likely to cause annoyance or alarm including, but not limited to, personal, written, or telephone contact with the victim or other family members, or their employers, employees, or fellow workers, or others with whom communication would be likely to cause annoyance or alarm to the victim.

     (8)   An order requiring that the defendant make or continue to make rent or mortgage payments on the residence occupied by the victim if the defendant is found to have a duty to support the victim or other dependent household members; provided that this issue has not been resolved or is not being litigated between the parties in another action.

     (9)   An order granting either party temporary possession of specified personal property, such as an automobile, checkbook, documentation of health insurance, an identification document, a key, and other personal effects.

     (10) An order awarding emergency monetary relief, including emergency support for minor children, to the victim and other dependents, if any. An ongoing obligation of support shall be determined at a later date pursuant to applicable law.

     (11) An order awarding temporary custody of a minor child. The court shall presume that the best interests of the child are served by an award of custody to the non-abusive parent.

     (12) An order requiring that a law enforcement officer accompany either party to the residence or any shared business premises to supervise the removal of personal belongings in order to ensure the personal safety of the plaintiff when a restraining order has been issued. This order shall be restricted in duration.

     (13) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1995, c.242).

     (14) An order granting any other appropriate relief for the plaintiff and dependent children, provided that the plaintiff consents to such relief, including relief requested by the plaintiff at the final hearing, whether or not the plaintiff requested such relief at the time of the granting of the initial emergency order.

     (15) An order that requires that the defendant report to the intake unit of the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court for monitoring of any other provision of the order.

     (16) In addition to the order required by this subsection prohibiting the defendant from possessing any firearm, the court may also issue an order prohibiting the defendant from possessing any other weapon enumerated in subsection r. of N.J.S.2C:39-1 and ordering the search for and seizure of any firearm or other weapon at any location where the judge has reasonable cause to believe the weapon is located. The judge shall state with specificity the reasons for and scope of the search and seizure authorized by the order.

     (17) An order prohibiting the defendant from stalking or following, or threatening to harm, to stalk or to follow, the complainant or any other person named in the order in a manner that, taken in the context of past actions of the defendant, would put the complainant in reasonable fear that the defendant would cause the death or injury of the complainant or any other person. Behavior prohibited under this act includes, but is not limited to, behavior prohibited under the provisions of P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10).

     (18) An order requiring the defendant to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

     (19) An order requiring the defendant to submit to electronic monitoring via global positioning satellite technology and prohibiting contact with the victim through the establishment of defined geographic exclusion zones, in conformance with section 3 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       )(pending before the Legislature as section 3 of this bill).

     c.     Notice of orders issued pursuant to this section shall be sent by the clerk of the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court or other person designated by the court to the appropriate chiefs of police, members of the State Police and any other appropriate law enforcement agency.

     d.    Upon good cause shown, any final order may be dissolved or modified upon application to the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court, but only if the judge who dissolves or modifies the order is the same judge who entered the order, or has available a complete record of the hearing or hearings on which the order was based.

     e.     Prior to the issuance of any order pursuant to this section, the court shall order that a search be made of the domestic violence central registry.

(cf: P.L.2003, c.277, s.2)

 

     8.    N.J.S.2C:45-1 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:45-1.  Conditions of Suspension or Probation.

     a.     When the court suspends the imposition of sentence on a person who has been convicted of an offense or sentences him to be placed on probation, it shall attach such reasonable conditions, authorized by this section, as it deems necessary to insure that he will lead a law-abiding life or is likely to assist him to do so. These conditions may be set forth in a set of standardized conditions promulgated by the county probation department and approved by the court.

     b.    The court, as a condition of its order, may require the defendant:

     (1)   To support his dependents and meet his family responsibilities;

     (2)   To find and continue in gainful employment;

     (3)   To undergo available medical or psychiatric treatment and to enter and remain in a specified institution, when required for that purpose;

     (4)   To pursue a prescribed secular course of study or vocational training;

     (5)   To attend or reside in a facility established for the instruction, recreation or residence of persons on probation;

     (6)   To refrain from frequenting unlawful or disreputable places or consorting with disreputable persons;

     (7)   Not to have in his possession any firearm or other dangerous weapon unless granted written permission;

     (8)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1991, c.329);

     (9)   To remain within the jurisdiction of the court and to notify the court or the probation officer of any change in his address or his employment;

     (10) To report as directed to the court or the probation officer, to permit the officer to visit his home, and to answer all reasonable inquiries by the probation officer;

     (11) To pay a fine;

     (12) To satisfy any other conditions reasonably related to the rehabilitation of the defendant and not unduly restrictive of his liberty or incompatible with his freedom of conscience;

     (13) To require the performance of community-related service; and

     (14) To be subject to Internet access conditions pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection d. of this section.

     In addition to any condition of probation, the court may enter an order prohibiting a defendant who is convicted of a sex offense from having any contact with the victim including, but not limited to, entering the victim’s residence, place of employment or business, or school, and from harassing or stalking the victim or victim’s relatives in any way, and may order other protective relief as provided in section 2 of P.L.2007, c.133 (C.2C:14-12).

     In addition to any condition of probation, the court may enter an order requiring a defendant who is convicted of a crime or offense involving domestic violence as defined in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19) to submit to electronic monitoring via global positioning satellite technology and prohibiting contact with the victim through the establishment of defined geographic exclusion zones in conformance with section 3 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as section 3 of this bill).  The court shall not consider the availability of electronic monitoring as a factor in determining whether to suspend the imposition of sentence on a person who has been convicted of an offense or sentence him to be placed on probation.

     c.     The court, as a condition of its order, shall require the defendant to pay any assessments required by section 2 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:43-3.1) and shall, consistent with the applicable provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3, N.J.S.2C:43-4 and N.J.S.2C:44-2 or section 1 of P.L.1983, c.411 (C.2C:43-2.1) require the defendant to make restitution.

     d.    (1) In addition to any condition imposed pursuant to subsection b. or c., the court shall order a person placed on probation to pay a fee, not exceeding $25.00 per month for the probationary term, to probation services for use by the State, except as provided in subsection g. of this section.  This fee may be waived in cases of indigency upon application by the chief probation officer to the sentencing court.

     (2)   In addition to any conditions imposed pursuant to subsection b. or c., the court may order a person who has been convicted  or adjudicated delinquent  of a sex offense as defined in subsection b. of section 2 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-2), and who is required to register as provided in subsections c. and d. of section 2 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-2),  or who has been convicted  or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of N.J.S.2C:34-3 to be subject to any of the following Internet access conditions:

     (a)   Prohibit the person from accessing or using a computer or any other device with Internet capability without the prior written approval of the court, except the person may use a computer or any other device with Internet capability in connection with that person’s employment or search for employment with the prior approval of the person’s probation  officer;

     (b)   Require the person to submit to periodic unannounced examinations of the person’s computer or any other device with Internet capability by a probation officer, law enforcement officer or assigned computer or information technology specialist, including the retrieval and copying of all data from the computer or device and any internal or external peripherals and removal of such information, equipment or device to conduct a more thorough inspection;

     (c)   Require the person to submit to the installation on the person’s computer or device with Internet capability, at the person’s expense, one or more hardware or software systems to monitor the Internet use; and

     (d)   Require the person to submit to any other appropriate restrictions concerning the person’s use or access of a computer or any other device with Internet capability.

     e.     When the court sentences a person who has been convicted of a crime to be placed on probation, it may require him to serve a term of imprisonment not exceeding 364 days as an additional condition of its order.  When the court sentences a person convicted of a disorderly persons offense to be placed on probation, it may require him to serve a term of imprisonment not exceeding 90 days as an additional condition of its order.  In imposing a term of imprisonment pursuant to this subsection, the sentencing court shall specifically place on the record the reasons which justify the sentence imposed.  The term of imprisonment imposed hereunder shall be treated as part of the sentence, and in the event of a sentence of imprisonment upon the revocation of probation, the term of imprisonment served hereunder shall be credited toward service of such subsequent sentence.  A term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be governed by the “Parole Act of 1979,” P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.45 et al.).

     Whenever a person is serving a term of parole as a result of a sentence of incarceration imposed as a condition of probation, supervision over that person shall be maintained pursuant to the provisions of the law governing parole.  Upon termination of the period of parole supervision provided by law, the county probation department shall assume responsibility for supervision of the person under sentence of probation.  Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the sentencing court from at any time proceeding under the provisions of this chapter against any person for a violation of probation.

     f.     The defendant shall be given a copy of the terms of his probation or suspension of sentence and any requirements imposed pursuant to this section, stated with sufficient specificity to enable him to guide himself accordingly. The defendant shall acknowledge, in writing, his receipt of these documents and his consent to their terms.

     g.     Of the moneys collected under the provisions of subsection d. of this section, $15.00 of each monthly fee collected before January 1, 1995 shall be deposited in the temporary reserve fund created by section 25 of P.L.1993, c.275, and $10.00 of each shall be deposited into a “Community Service Supervision Fund” which shall be established by each county.  The moneys in the “Community Service Supervision Fund” shall be expended only in accordance with the provisions of State law as shall be enacted to provide for expenditures from this fund for the purpose of supervising and monitoring probationers performing community service to ensure, by whatever means necessary and appropriate, that probationers are performing the community service ordered by the court and that the performance is in the manner and under the terms ordered by the court.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.219, s.4)

 

     9.    Section 15 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.59) is amended to read as follows:

     15.  a.  Each adult parolee shall at all times remain in the legal custody of the Commissioner of Corrections and under the supervision of the State Parole Board and each juvenile parolee shall at all times remain in the legal custody of the Juvenile Justice Commission established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-170), except that the Commissioner of Corrections or the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Commission, after providing notice to the Attorney General, may consent to the supervision of a parolee by the federal government pursuant to the Witness Security Reform Act, Pub.L.98-473 (18 U.S.C. s.3521 et seq.). An adult parolee, except those under the Witness Security Reform Act, shall remain under the supervision of the State Parole Board and in the legal custody of the Department of Corrections, and a juvenile parolee, except those under the Witness Security Reform Act, shall remain under the supervision of the Juvenile Justice Commission, as appropriate, in accordance with the policies and rules of the board.

     b.    (1) Each parolee shall agree, as evidenced by his signature to abide by specific conditions of parole established by the appropriate board panel which shall be enumerated in writing in a certificate of parole and shall be given to the parolee upon release.  Such conditions shall include, among other things, a requirement that the parolee conduct himself in society in compliance with all laws and refrain from committing any crime, a requirement that the parolee will not own or possess any firearm as defined in subsection f. of N.J.S.2C:39-1 or any other weapon enumerated in subsection r. of N.J.S.2C:39-1, a requirement that the parolee refrain from the use, possession or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or imitation controlled dangerous substance as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-2 and N.J.S.2C:35-11, a requirement that the parolee obtain permission from his parole officer for any change in his residence, and a requirement that the parolee report at reasonable intervals to an assigned parole officer. In addition, based on prior history of the parolee or information provided by a victim or a member of the family of a murder victim, the member or board panel certifying parole release pursuant to section 11 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.55) may impose any other specific conditions of parole deemed reasonable in order to reduce the likelihood of recurrence of criminal or delinquent behavior, including a requirement that the parolee comply with the Internet access conditions set forth in paragraph (2) of this subsection.  Such special conditions may include, among other things, a requirement that the parolee make full or partial restitution, the amount of which restitution shall be set by the sentencing court upon request of the board. In addition, the member or board panel certifying parole release may, giving due regard to a victim’s request, impose a special condition that the parolee have no contact with the victim, which special condition may include, but need not be limited to, restraining the parolee from entering the victim’s residence, place of employment, business or school, and from harassing or stalking the victim or victim’s relatives in any way. Further, the member, board panel or board certifying parole release may impose a special condition that the person shall not own or possess an animal for an unlawful purpose or to interfere in the performance of duties by a parole officer.

     (2)   In addition, the member or board panel certifying parole release may impose on any person who has been convicted or adjudicated delinquent for the commission of a sex offense as defined in subsection b. of section 2 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-2), and who is required to register as provided in subsections c. and d. of section 2 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-2), or who has been convicted or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of N.J.S.2C:34-3 any of the following Internet access conditions:

     (a)   Prohibit the person from accessing or using a computer or any other device with Internet capability without the prior written approval of the court, except  the person may use a computer or any other device with Internet capability in connection with that person’s employment or search for employment with the prior approval of the person’s  parole officer;

     (b)   Require the person to submit to periodic unannounced examinations of the person’s computer or any other device with Internet capability by a parole officer, law enforcement officer or assigned computer or information technology specialist, including the retrieval and copying of all data from the computer or device and any internal or external peripherals and removal of such information, equipment or device to conduct a more thorough inspection;

     (c)   Require the person to submit to the installation on the person’s computer or device with Internet capability, at the person’s expense, one or more hardware or software systems to monitor the Internet use; and

     (d)   Require the person to submit to any other appropriate restrictions concerning the person’s use or access of a computer or any other device with Internet capability.

     (3)   In addition, the member or board panel certifying parole release may impose on any person who has been convicted of a crime or offense involving domestic violence as defined in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19) the conditions that such person submit to electronic monitoring via global positioning satellite technology and prohibiting that person from having contact with the victim through the establishment of defined geographic exclusion zones in conformance with section 3 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        )(pending before the Legislature as section 3 of this bill).

     c.     The appropriate board panel may in writing relieve a parolee of any parole conditions, and may permit a parolee to reside outside the State pursuant to the provisions of the Uniform Act for Out-of-State Parolee Supervision (N.J.S.2A:168-14 et seq.), the Interstate Compact on Juveniles, P.L.1955, c.55 (C.9:23-1 to 9:23-4), and, with the consent of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections or the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Commission after providing notice to the Attorney General, the federal Witness Security Reform Act, if satisfied that such change will not result in a substantial likelihood that the parolee will commit an offense which would be a crime under the laws of this State.  The appropriate board panel may revoke such permission, except in the case of a parolee under the Witness Security Reform Act, or reinstate relieved parole conditions for any period of time during which a parolee is under its jurisdiction.

     d.    The appropriate board panel may parole an inmate to any residential facility funded in whole or in part by the State if the inmate would not otherwise be released pursuant to section 9 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.53) without such placement.  But if the residential facility provides treatment for mental illness or mental retardation, the board panel only may parole the inmate to the facility pursuant to the laws and admissions policies that otherwise govern the admission of persons to that facility, and the facility shall have the authority to discharge the inmate according to the laws and policies that otherwise govern the discharge of persons from the facility, on 10 days’ prior notice to the board panel.  The board panel shall acknowledge receipt of this notice in writing prior to the discharge.  Upon receipt of the notice the board panel shall resume jurisdiction over the inmate.

     e.     Parole officers shall provide assistance to the parolee in obtaining employment, education or vocational training or in meeting other obligations to assure the parolee’s compliance with meeting legal requirements related to sex offender notification, address changes and participation in rehabilitation programs as directed by the assigned parole officer.

     f.     The board panel on juvenile commitments and the assigned parole officer shall insure that the least restrictive available alternative is used for any juvenile parolee.

     g.     If the board has granted parole to any inmate from a State correctional facility or juvenile facility and the court has imposed a fine on such inmate, the appropriate board panel shall release such inmate on condition that the parolee make specified fine payments to the State Parole Board or the Juvenile Justice Commission.  For violation of such conditions, or for violation of a special condition requiring restitution, parole may be revoked only for refusal or failure to make a good faith effort to make such payment.

     h.     Upon collection of the fine the same shall be paid over by the Department of Corrections or by the Juvenile Justice Commission to the State Treasury.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.219, s.5)

     10.  This act shall take effect on the 180th day following enactment, and shall expire three years thereafter, provided that the Attorney General may take such anticipatory action as may be necessary for the effectuation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes the “Domestic Violence Victim Protection Pilot Program Act.”

     The bill provides that the Attorney General shall establish a pilot program of up to three years in one or more counties for the continuous, satellite-based monitoring of no more than 500 persons charged with or convicted of a crime or offense involving domestic violence as defined in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19).  The program, which would be implemented in coordination with the State Parole Board and the Administrative Office of the Courts, would be contingent upon the availability of federal funding. 

     The bill provides that the Attorney General may contract with one or more vendors to establish and maintain an electronic monitoring program which, at a minimum, shall provide:

     (1)   time-correlated or continuous tracking of the geographic location of the monitored person using a global positioning system based on satellite and other location technology; and

     (2)   immediate notification to law enforcement or other monitors of an entry into a defined geographic exclusion zone that the monitored person is barred from entering.

     The bill provides that the Attorney General may promulgate guidelines to effectuate the provisions of the bill, and shall establish criteria governing a prosecutor’s determination of whether to seek to require a person charged with or convicted of a crime or offense involving domestic violence to submit to electronic monitoring.

     The bill provides that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the Attorney General, chairman of the State Parole Board, and federal, State, county and municipal law enforcement agencies may share criminal incident information with each other and the vendor selected to provide and administer the monitoring equipment for the program.  In addition, the bill provides that the Superior Court may, pursuant to court rules or directives, share information regarding domestic violence defendants, restraint, and violations with law enforcement agencies and the vendor selected to implement the pilot program.

     The bill requires the Attorney General to submit a report evaluating the effectiveness of the pilot program to the Governor and the Legislature within 90 days upon completion of the pilot program. The report shall recommend whether the pilot program should be continued as a Statewide program.

     The bill further provides that in addition to any other authorized disposition, a person charged with or convicted of a crime or offense involving domestic violence may, in addition to any other disposition, be required to submit to electronic monitoring by wearing a global positioning satellite tracking device designed to transmit and record the person’s location data and be prohibited from having contact with the complainant or victim through the establishment of defined geographic exclusion zones as recommended by the prosecutor, including, but not limited to, the areas in and around the complainant’s or victim’s residence or place of employment, and the school attended by the complainant’s or victim’s child. 

     Under the bill, if a person subject to electronic monitoring enters a defined exclusion zone, the person’s location data shall be immediately transmitted to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the zone and to the complainant or victim, through an appropriate means including, but not limited to, the telephone, an electronic beeper or a paging device.  A monitored person shall be subject to civil contempt, criminal contempt, revocation of bail, probation or parole, or any combination of these sanctions and any other sanctions authorized by law, for a violation of any prohibition or requirement imposed under the bill.  A law enforcement officer may arrest a person when an officer has probable cause to believe that the monitored person has violated the terms of any order, condition of release, probation or parole, or other authorized disposition.

     Under the bill, in addition to any other sanction that a court or the State Parole Board may impose, a monitored person who purposely or knowingly enters into a geographically defined exclusion zone established pursuant to the bill would be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.  Any person who tampers with, removes or vandalizes a device worn or utilized by a monitored person would be guilty of a crime of the third degree.  A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months or a fine of up to $10,000, or both; a crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years or a fine of up to $15,000, or both.

     The bill provides that in the case of a person who has been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity for a crime or offense involving domestic violence, the Superior Court or the municipal court may, in addition to any other appropriate disposition, order that the person submit to electronic monitoring via global positioning satellite technology in addition to prohibitions on contact with the victim through the establishment of defined geographic exclusion zones as recommended by the prosecutor and  authorized under the bill.

     The bill prohibits the court from considering the availability of electronic monitoring as a factor in determining whether to impose a sentence of imprisonment, suspend the imposition of sentence or sentence the defendant to be placed on probation.

     This bill is part of a five-bill package proposed by the Office of the Attorney General concerning domestic violence.