ASSEMBLY, No. 1896

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† JOHN J. BURZICHELLI

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

Assemblyman† TIMOTHY J. EUSTACE

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman† ANNETTE QUIJANO

District 20 (Union)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Fuentes, Assemblywomen Casagrande, McHose, Caride, Riley, Handlin, Assemblymen Coughlin, Space, Conaway and Singleton

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Expands notification when an offender is released from custody or transferred within the criminal justice system.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

††


An Act concerning certain notification about offenders, supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes and amending P.L.1994, c.135.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† (New section) a.† The Attorney General shall maintain, or arrange for the State to participate in, an automatic notification system to alert crime victims, witnesses, and other appropriate persons when an offender is released from custody or is transferred within the correctional system.

†††† b.††† Notification of the offenderís change of custody shall be made to persons who have elected to register with the automatic notification system.† Victims and witnesses and, as determined by the prosecuting agency, other appropriate persons, shall be provided with the opportunity to supply contact information in order to be notified when the offenderís custody status changes.† The automatic notification system shall alert the victim, witnesses, and other appropriate persons about the custody status change.

†††† c.††† If a person who has registered pursuant to this section cannot be contacted through the automatic notification system,† notification of the offenderís change of custody shall be made to the appropriate investigating agency or county correctional facility and such agency or facility shall use reasonable efforts to notify the person.

†††† d.††† The Attorney General shall issue a directive to effectuate the purposes of P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

†††† 2. Section 1 of P.L.1994, c.135 (C.30:4-123.53a) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 1.††† a.† As used in this act:† "Prosecutor" means the county prosecutor of the county in which the defendant was convicted unless the matter was prosecuted by the Attorney General, in which case "prosecutor" means the Attorney General.

†††† "Office of Victim Witness Advocacy" means the Office of Victim Witness Advocacy of the county in which the defendant was convicted.

†††† b.††† Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the State shall provide written notice to the prosecutor of the anticipated release from incarceration in a county or State penal institution or the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center of a person convicted of murder; manslaughter; aggravated sexual assault; sexual assault; aggravated assault; aggravated criminal sexual contact; [kidnaping] kidnapping pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:13-1; endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child pursuant to subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:24-4; endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4; luring or enticing pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1993, c.291 (C.2C:13-6); any other offense involving serious bodily injury or an attempt to commit any of the aforementioned offenses. In cases involving a release on parole, the State Parole Board shall provide the notice required by this subsection.† In all other cases, including but not limited to release upon expiration of sentence or release from incarceration due to a change in sentence, the Department of Corrections shall provide the notice required by this subsection.

†††† c.††† Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Juvenile Justice Commission established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-170) shall provide written notice to the prosecutor of the anticipated release from incarceration of a juvenile adjudicated delinquent on the basis of an offense which, if committed by an adult, would constitute murder; manslaughter; aggravated sexual assault; sexual assault; aggravated assault; aggravated criminal sexual contact; [kidnaping] kidnapping pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:13-1; endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child pursuant to subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:24-4; endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4; luring or enticing pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1993, c.291 (C.2C:13-6); any other offense involving serious bodily injury or an attempt to commit any of the aforementioned offenses.

†††† d.††† If available, the notice shall be provided to the prosecutor 90 days before the inmate's anticipated release; provided however, the notice shall be provided at least 30 days before release.† The notice shall include the person's name, identifying factors, offense history, and anticipated future residence.† The prosecutor shall notify the Office of Victim [and] Witness Advocacy and that office shall use any reasonable means available to them to notify the victim of the anticipated release, unless the victim has requested not to be notified.† The Office of Victim Witness Advocacy shall use any reasonable means available to also notify witnesses and other appropriate persons, as determined by the prosecutor in accordance with the directive issued by the Attorney General, who have requested notification of the anticipated release.

†††† e.††† Upon receipt of notice, the prosecutor shall provide notice to the law enforcement agency responsible for the municipality where the inmate will reside, the municipality in which any victim resides, and such other State and local law enforcement agencies as appropriate for public safety.

(cf: P.L.2001, c.79, s.8)

 

†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month following the date of enactment, except the Attorney General, where appropriate, may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill expands the scope of notification when an offender is released from custody or transferred within the criminal justice system.†

†††† Section 1 of P.L.1994, c.135 (C.30:4-123.53a), which was enacted with Meganís Law, requires the Parole Board, Department of Corrections, or Juvenile Justice Commission to provide written notice to the prosecutor of the anticipated release from incarceration of offenders convicted of certain violent crimes and sex offenses.† Notification is then provided to the Office of Victim Witness Advocacy, which is required to notify the victim of the anticipated release.† The bill expands that notification to include witnesses and any other appropriate person who has requested notification, as determined by the prosecutor in accordance with a directive issued by the Attorney General.

†††† At present, the Attorney General operates an automatic notification system pursuant to Attorney General Directive No. 2005-5.† The directive authorizes the notification of crime victims who have elected to participate in the system whenever an offender is released from custody or transferred within the correctional system.† The State currently utilizes the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system, which is provided through a private vendor.† This bill expands the automatic notification to include witnesses and any other appropriate person, as determined by the prosecuting agency in accordance with the Attorney General's directive, who has requested notification.

†††† This bill requires the Attorney General to continue to maintain the automatic notification system.† The bill further authorizes the Attorney General to issue a directive to effectuate the purposes of the bill.

†††† The bill provides that its terms are not to be construed to limit the notification of investigating agencies or county correctional facilities that currently takes place if the automatic notification system is unable to reach a victim, witnesses, and other appropriate person who has registered for notification.