SENATE, No. 677

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  RAYMOND J. LESNIAK

District 20 (Union)

Senator  SANDRA B. CUNNINGHAM

District 31 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Weinberg, Vitale and P.Barnes, III

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires parole board under certain circumstances to release inmates not convicted of a violent crime under the No Early Release Act at the time of parole eligibility.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning parole, designated as the Presumptive Parole Act, and amending P.L.1979, c.441 and supplementing Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    Section 9 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.53) is amended to read as follow:

     9.    a.  An adult inmate shall be released on parole at the time of parole eligibility, unless information supplied in the report filed pursuant to section 10 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.54) or developed or produced at a hearing held pursuant to section 11 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.55) indicates by a preponderance of the evidence that the inmate has failed to cooperate in his or her own rehabilitation or that there is a reasonable expectation that the inmate will violate conditions of parole imposed pursuant to section 15 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.59) if released on parole at that time.  In reaching such determination, the board panel or board shall state on the record the reasons therefor.

     For the purposes of this subsection, "failed to cooperate in his or her own rehabilitation" shall include, in the case of an inmate who suffers from mental illness as defined in section 2 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.2) that does not require institutionalization, that the inmate failed to fully participate in or cooperate with all prescribed treatment offered during incarceration.

     b.    A juvenile inmate shall be released on parole when it shall appear that the juvenile, if released, will not cause injury to persons or substantial injury to property.

     c.    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, an adult inmate shall be released on parole at the time of primary parole eligibility provided that the inmate:

     (1)   has not been previously convicted of, adjudicated delinquent for, or is presently serving a sentence imposed for any crime enumerated in subsection d. of N.J.S.2C:43-7.2;

     (2)   has not committed any of the disciplinary infractions determined to be the most serious pursuant to regulations of the Commissioner of Corrections during the current period of confinement; and

     (3)   fully participated in or cooperated with all prescribed treatment offered during incarceration, or made application for all prescribed treatment but was unable to participate because of circumstances beyond the control of the inmate.

     In the case of an inmate who meets the criteria set forth in this subsection, a hearing shall not be required pursuant to section 11 of P.L.1970, c.441 (C.30:4-123.55).  An inmate released on parole pursuant to subsection c. of this section shall, during the term of parole supervision, remain in the legal custody of the Commissioner of Corrections, be supervised by the Division of Parole of the State Parole Board, and be subject to the provisions and conditions established by the appropriate board panel in accordance with the procedures and standards set forth in section 15 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.59).  If the parolee violates a condition of parole, the parolee shall be subject to the provisions of section 16 through 19 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.60 through C.30:4-123.63) and may have his parole revoked and be returned to custody.  If revocation and return to custody are deemed appropriate, the appropriate board panel shall revoke the parolee’s release and return the parolee to custody and confinement pursuant to the provisions of section 3 of P.L.1997, c.117 (C.30:4-123.51b).

(cf: P.L.1998, c.112, s.1)

 

     2.    (New section) The Commissioner of Corrections shall allocate a portion of any cost savings realized from the enactment of P.L.     , c.    (pending before the Legislature as this bill) to the Office of Victim Services for the operating costs of the Focus on the Victim Program and other services to facilitate inmates’ successful reentry.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month after enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that certain adult inmates would be released on parole at the time of primary parole eligibility provided that the inmate: 1) has not been convicted of a violent crime under the No Early Release Act; 2) has not committed any serious disciplinary infraction while incarcerated; and 3) fully participated in or cooperated with all prescribed treatment offered during incarceration, or made application to participate in all prescribed treatment but was unable to do so because of circumstances beyond the inmate’s control.

     A hearing would not be required if the inmate meets the criteria set forth in the bill.  An inmate released on parole pursuant to the bill’s provisions would, during the term of parole supervision, remain in the legal custody of the Commissioner of Corrections, be supervised by the Division of Parole of the State Parole Board, and be subject to the provisions and conditions established by the appropriate board panel.  If an inmate paroled under this bill violates a condition of parole, the inmate may be subject to additional conditions of parole or loss of commutation credits.  If appropriate, parole may be revoked and the inmate returned to custody and confinement until the inmate is again eligible for release consideration pursuant to Parole Board regulations.

     Finally, the bill requires the Commissioner of Corrections to allocate a portion of any cost savings realized from the bill’s enactment to the Office of Victim Services for the operating costs of the Focus on the Victim Program and other services to facilitate inmates’ successful reentry.