Assemblywoman L. GRACE SPENCER
District 29 (Essex)
Authorizes court to waive certain fees, offer mediation as sentence; authorizes defendant information in presentence report; requires benefits be considered in juvenile plan.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning criminal penalties and amending various parts of the statutory law.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. N.J.S.2C:46-3 is amended to read as follows:
2C:46-3. [A] Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, a defendant who has been sentenced or is required to pay a fine may at any time [petition], including the time of sentencing, apply to the court which sentenced him for a revocation of the fine or of any unpaid portion thereof in accordance with rules adopted by the Supreme Court. If it appears to the satisfaction of the court that the circumstances which warranted the imposition of the fine have changed, or that it would otherwise be unjust to require payment, the court may revoke the fine or the unpaid portion thereof in whole or in part.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, a defendant who has been sentenced or is required to pay an assessment, penalty, or fee imposed in accordance with the provisions of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes may at any time, including the time of sentencing, apply to the court which sentenced him for a waiver of the assessment, penalty, or fee or of any unpaid portion thereof in accordance with rules adopted by the Supreme Court. If it appears to the satisfaction of the court that the defendant has demonstrated that requiring such payment would impose an extreme financial hardship or that it would otherwise be unjust to require payment, the court may waive the assessment, penalty, or fee or the unpaid portion thereof in whole or in part, or establish an appropriate payment schedule that takes into account the defendant’s financial or other circumstances.
2. 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; and
(15) To participate, if the victim voluntarily consents to participate, in an approved mediation program that will mediate between the defendant and the victim with the purpose of holding the defendant accountable to the victim, including holding the defendant accountable by means of restitution to the victim or other agreed upon symbolic means of taking responsibility for the defendant’s actions.
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).
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] $25 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] $15 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] $10 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)
3. Section 24 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-43) is amended to read as follows:
24. Disposition of delinquency cases. a. In determining the appropriate disposition for a juvenile adjudicated delinquent the court shall weigh the following factors:
(1) The nature and circumstances of the offense;
(2) The degree of injury to persons or damage to property caused by the juvenile's offense;
(3) The juvenile's age, previous record, prior social service received, and out-of-home placement history;
(4) Whether the disposition supports family strength, responsibility and unity and the well-being and physical safety of the juvenile;
(5) Whether the disposition provides for reasonable participation by the child's parent, guardian, or custodian, provided, however, that the failure of a parent or parents to cooperate in the disposition shall not be weighed against the juvenile in arriving at an appropriate disposition;
(6) Whether the disposition recognizes and treats the unique physical, psychological, and social characteristics and needs of the child;
(7) Whether the disposition contributes to the developmental needs of the child, including the academic and social needs of the child where the child has intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities;
(8) Any other circumstances related to the offense and the juvenile's social history as deemed appropriate by the court;
(9) The impact of the offense on the victim or victims;
(10) The impact of the offense on the community; and
(11) The threat to the safety of the public or any individual posed by the child.
b. If a juvenile is adjudged delinquent, and except to the extent that an additional specific disposition is required pursuant to subsection e. or f. of this section, the court may order incarceration pursuant to section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44) or any one or more of the following dispositions:
(1) Adjourn formal entry of disposition of the case for a period not to exceed 12 months for the purpose of determining whether the juvenile makes a satisfactory adjustment, and if during the period of continuance the juvenile makes such an adjustment, dismiss the complaint; provided that if the court adjourns formal entry of disposition of delinquency for a violation of an offense defined in chapter 35 or 36 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes the court shall assess the mandatory penalty set forth in N.J.S.2C:35-15 but may waive imposition of the penalty set forth in N.J.S.2C:35-16 for juveniles adjudicated delinquent;
(2) Release the juvenile to the supervision of the juvenile's parent or guardian;
(3) Place the juvenile on probation to the chief probation officer of the county or to any other suitable person who agrees to accept the duty of probation supervision for a period not to exceed three years upon such written conditions as the court deems will aid rehabilitation of the juvenile;
(4) Transfer custody of the juvenile to any relative or other person determined by the court to be qualified to care for the juvenile;
(5) Place the juvenile under the care and responsibility of the Department of Children and Families so that the commissioner may designate a division or organizational unit in the department pursuant to P.L.1951, c.138 (C.30:4C-1 et seq.) for the purpose of providing services in or out of the home. Within 14 days, unless for good cause shown, but not later than 30 days, the Department of Children and Families shall submit to the court a service plan, which shall be presumed valid, detailing the specifics of any disposition order. The plan shall be developed within the limits of fiscal and other resources available to the department, and shall take into account, without limitation, any Medicaid or other benefits for which the juvenile may be eligible. If the court determines that the service plan is inappropriate, given existing resources, the department may request a hearing on that determination;
(6) Place the juvenile under the care and custody of the Commissioner of Children and Families for the purpose of receiving the services of the Division of Children's System of Care of that department, provided that the juvenile has been determined to be eligible for those services under [P.L.1965, c.59, s.16] section 16 of P.L.1965, c.59 (C.30:4-25.4);
(7) Commit the juvenile, pursuant to applicable laws and the Rules of Court governing civil commitment, to the Department of Children and Families under the responsibility of the Division of Children's System of Care for the purpose of placement in a suitable public or private hospital or other residential facility for the treatment of persons who are mentally ill, on the ground that the juvenile is in need of involuntary commitment;
(8) Fine the juvenile an amount not to exceed the maximum provided by law for such a crime or offense if committed by an adult and which is consistent with the juvenile's income or ability to pay and financial responsibility to the juvenile's family, provided that the fine is specially adapted to the rehabilitation of the juvenile or to the deterrence of the type of crime or offense. If the fine is not paid due to financial limitations, the fine may be satisfied by requiring the juvenile to submit to any other appropriate disposition provided for in this section;
(9) Order the juvenile to make restitution to a person or entity who has suffered loss resulting from personal injuries or damage to property as a result of the offense for which the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent. The court may determine the reasonable amount, terms, and conditions of restitution. If the juvenile participated in the offense with other persons, the participants shall be jointly and severally responsible for the payment of restitution. The court shall not require a juvenile to make full or partial restitution if the juvenile reasonably satisfies the court that the juvenile does not have the means to make restitution and could not reasonably acquire the means to pay restitution;
(10) Order that the juvenile perform community services under the supervision of a probation division or other agency or individual deemed appropriate by the court. Such services shall be compulsory and reasonable in terms of nature and duration. Such services may be performed without compensation, provided that any money earned by the juvenile from the performance of community services may be applied towards any payment of restitution or fine which the court has ordered the juvenile to pay;
(11) Order that the juvenile participate in work programs which are designed to provide job skills and specific employment training to enhance the employability of job participants. Such programs may be without compensation, provided that any money earned by the juvenile from participation in a work program may be applied towards any payment of restitution or fine which the court has ordered the juvenile to pay;
(12) Order that the juvenile participate in programs emphasizing self-reliance, such as intensive outdoor programs teaching survival skills, including but not limited to camping, hiking, and other appropriate activities;
(13) Order that the juvenile participate in a program of academic or vocational education or counseling, such as a youth service bureau, requiring attendance at sessions designed to afford access to opportunities for normal growth and development. This may require attendance after school, evenings, and weekends;
(14) Place the juvenile in a suitable residential or nonresidential program for the treatment of alcohol or narcotic abuse, provided that the juvenile has been determined to be in need of such services;
(15) Order the parent or guardian of the juvenile to participate in appropriate programs or services when the court has found either that such person's omission or conduct was a significant contributing factor towards the commission of the delinquent act, or, under its authority to enforce litigant's rights, that such person's omission or conduct has been a significant contributing factor towards the ineffective implementation of a court order previously entered in relation to the juvenile;
(16) (a) Place the juvenile in a nonresidential program operated by a public or private agency, providing intensive services to juveniles for specified hours, which may include education, counseling to the juvenile and the juvenile's family if appropriate, vocational training, employment counseling, work, or other services;
(b) Place the juvenile under the custody of the Juvenile Justice Commission established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-170) for placement with any private group home or private residential facility with which the commission has entered into a purchase of service contract;
(17) Instead of or in addition to any disposition made according to this section, the court may postpone, suspend, or revoke for a period not to exceed two years the driver's license, registration certificate, or both of any juvenile who used a motor vehicle in the course of committing an act for which the juvenile was adjudicated delinquent. In imposing this disposition and in deciding the duration of the postponement, suspension, or revocation, the court shall consider the severity of the delinquent act and the potential effect of the loss of driving privileges on the juvenile's ability to be rehabilitated. Any postponement, suspension, or revocation shall be imposed consecutively with any custodial commitment;
(18) Order that the juvenile satisfy any other conditions reasonably related to the rehabilitation of the juvenile;
(19) Order a parent or guardian who has failed or neglected to exercise reasonable supervision or control of a juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent to make restitution to any person or entity who has suffered a loss as a result of that offense. The court may determine the reasonable amount, terms, and conditions of restitution; [or]
(20) Place the juvenile, if eligible, in an appropriate juvenile offender program established pursuant to P.L.1997, c.81 (C.30:8-61 et al.); or
(21) Order the juvenile, where appropriate, to participate, if the victim voluntarily consents to participate, in an approved mediation program that will mediate between the juvenile and the victim with the purpose of holding the juvenile accountable to the victim, including holding the juvenile accountable by means of restitution to the victim or other agreed upon symbolic means of taking responsibility for the juvenile’s actions.
c. (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsections e. and f. of this section, if the county in which the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent has a juvenile detention facility meeting the physical and program standards established pursuant to this subsection by the Juvenile Justice Commission, the court may, in addition to any of the dispositions not involving placement out of the home enumerated in this section, incarcerate the juvenile in the youth detention facility in that county for a term not to exceed 60 consecutive days. Counties which do not operate their own juvenile detention facilities may contract for the use of approved commitment programs with counties with which they have established agreements for the use of pre-disposition juvenile detention facilities. The Juvenile Justice Commission shall promulgate such rules and regulations from time to time as deemed necessary to establish minimum physical facility and program standards for the use of juvenile detention facilities pursuant to this subsection.
(2) No juvenile may be incarcerated in any county detention facility unless the county has entered into an agreement with the Juvenile Justice Commission concerning the use of the facility for sentenced juveniles. Upon agreement with the county, the Juvenile Justice Commission shall certify detention facilities which may receive juveniles sentenced pursuant to this subsection and shall specify the capacity of the facility that may be made available to receive such juveniles; provided, however, that in no event shall the number of juveniles incarcerated pursuant to this subsection exceed [50%] 50 percent of the maximum capacity of the facility.
(3) The court may fix a term of incarceration under this subsection where:
(a) The act for which the juvenile was adjudicated delinquent, if committed by an adult, would have constituted a crime or repetitive disorderly persons offense;
(b) Incarceration of the juvenile is consistent with the goals of public safety, accountability, and rehabilitation and the court is clearly convinced that the aggravating factors substantially outweigh the mitigating factors as set forth in section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44); and
(c) The detention facility has been certified for admission of adjudicated juveniles pursuant to paragraph (2).
(4) If as a result of incarceration of adjudicated juveniles pursuant to this subsection, a county is required to transport a predisposition juvenile to a juvenile detention facility in another county, the costs of such transportation shall be borne by the Juvenile Justice Commission.
d. Whenever the court imposes a disposition upon an adjudicated delinquent which requires the juvenile to perform a community service, restitution, or to participate in any other program provided for in this section other than subsection c., the duration of the juvenile's mandatory participation in such alternative programs shall extend for a period consistent with the program goal for the juvenile and shall in no event exceed one year beyond the maximum duration permissible for the delinquent if the juvenile had been committed to a term of incarceration.
e. In addition to any disposition the court may impose pursuant to this section or section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44), the following orders shall be included in dispositions of the adjudications set forth below:
(1) An order of incarceration for a term of the duration authorized pursuant to this section or section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44) or an order to perform community service pursuant to paragraph (10) of subsection b. of this section for a period of at least 60 days, if the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute the crime of theft of a motor vehicle, or the crime of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle in violation of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:20-10, or the third degree crime of eluding in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2;
(2) An order of incarceration for a term of the duration authorized pursuant to this section or section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44) which shall include a minimum term of 60 days during which the juvenile shall be ineligible for parole, if the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute the crime of aggravated assault in violation of paragraph (6) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:12-1, the second degree crime of eluding in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2, or theft of a motor vehicle, in a case in which the juvenile has previously been adjudicated delinquent for an act, which if committed by an adult, would constitute unlawful taking of a motor vehicle or theft of a motor vehicle;
(3) An order to perform community service pursuant to paragraph (10) of subsection b. of this section for a period of at least 30 days, if the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute the fourth degree crime of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:20-10;
(4) An order of incarceration for a term of the duration authorized pursuant to this section or section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44) which shall include a minimum term of 30 days during which the juvenile shall be ineligible for parole, if the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute the crime of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle in violation of N.J.S.2C:20-10 or the third degree crime of eluding in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2, and if the juvenile has previously been adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute either theft of a motor vehicle, the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle or eluding.
f. (1) The minimum terms of incarceration required pursuant to subsection e. of this section shall be imposed regardless of the weight or balance of factors set forth in this section or in section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44), but the weight and balance of those factors shall determine the length of the term of incarceration appropriate, if any, beyond any mandatory minimum term required pursuant to subsection e. of this section.
(2) When a court in a county that does not have a juvenile detention facility or a contractual relationship permitting incarceration pursuant to subsection c. of this section is required to impose a term of incarceration pursuant to subsection e. of this section, the court may, subject to limitations on commitment to State correctional facilities of juveniles who are under the age of 11 or developmentally disabled, set a term of incarceration consistent with subsection c. which shall be served in a State correctional facility. When a juvenile who because of age or developmental disability cannot be committed to a State correctional facility or cannot be incarcerated in a county facility, the court shall order a disposition appropriate as an alternative to any incarceration required pursuant to subsection e.
(3) For purposes of subsection e. of this section, in the event that a "boot camp" program for juvenile offenders should be developed and is available, a term of commitment to such a program shall be considered a term of incarceration.
g. Whenever the court imposes a disposition upon an adjudicated delinquent which requires the juvenile to perform a community service, restitution, or to participate in any other program provided for in this section, the order shall include provisions which provide balanced attention to the protection of the community, accountability for offenses committed, fostering interaction and dialogue between the offender, victim and community and the development of competencies to enable the child to become a responsible and productive member of the community.
(cf: P.L.2012, c.16, s.1)
4. N.J.S.2C:44-6 is amended to read as follows:
2C:44-6. Procedure on sentence; presentence investigation and report.
a. The court shall not impose sentence without first ordering a presentence investigation of the defendant and according due consideration to a written report of such investigation when required by the Rules of Court. The court may order a presentence investigation in any other case.
b. The presentence investigation shall include an analysis of the circumstances attending the commission of the offense, the defendant's history of delinquency or criminality, family situation, financial resources, including whether or not the defendant is an enrollee or covered person under a health insurance contract, policy or plan, debts, including any amount owed for a fine, assessment or restitution ordered in accordance with the provisions of Title 2C, any obligation of child support including any child support delinquencies, employment history, personal habits, the disposition of any charge made against any codefendants, the defendant's history of civil commitment, any disposition which arose out of charges suspended pursuant to N.J.S.2C:4-6 including the records of the disposition of those charges and any acquittal by reason of insanity pursuant to N.J.S.2C:4-1, and any other matters that the probation officer deems relevant or the court directs to be included. In addition, the defendant’s immediate family may submit a written statement to be included in the presentence report, which statement may describe the circumstances related to the defendant and the commission of the crime from the family’s perspective and the potential impact of the defendant’s sentence on the family. The defendant shall disclose any information concerning any history of civil commitment. The report shall also include a medical history of the defendant and a complete psychological evaluation of the defendant in any case in which the defendant is being sentenced for a first or second degree crime involving violence and:
(1) the defendant has a prior acquittal by reason of insanity pursuant to N.J.S.2C:4-1 or had charges suspended pursuant to N.J.S.2C:4-6; or
(2) the defendant has a prior conviction for murder pursuant to N.J.S.2C:11-3, aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault pursuant to N.J.S.2C:14-2, kidnapping pursuant to N.J.S.2C:13-1, endangering the welfare of a child which would constitute a crime of the second degree pursuant to N.J.S.2C:24-4, or stalking which would constitute a crime of the third degree pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10); or
(3) the defendant has a prior diagnosis of psychosis.
The defendant may provide information concerning any developmental disability or mental health issue affecting the defendant, which information shall be included in the presentence report. The court, in its discretion and considering all the appropriate circumstances, may waive the medical history and psychological examination in any case in which a term of imprisonment including a period of parole ineligibility is imposed. In any case involving a conviction of N.J.S.2C:24-4, endangering the welfare of a child; N.J.S.2C:18-3, criminal trespass, where the trespass was committed in a school building or on school property; section 1 of P.L.1993, c.291 (C.2C:13-6), attempting to lure or entice a child with purpose to commit a criminal offense; section 1 of P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10), stalking; or N.J.S.2C:13-1, kidnapping, where the victim of the offense is a child under the age of 18, the investigation shall include a report on the defendant's mental condition.
The presentence investigation shall also include information regarding the defendant's history of substance abuse and substance abuse treatment, if any, including whether the defendant has sought treatment in the past. If any of the factors listed in subsection b. of section 1 of P.L.2012, c.23 (C.2C:35-14.1) apply, the presentence report shall also include consideration of whether the defendant may be a drug dependent person as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-2.
The presentence investigation shall include an analysis of whether the defendant should be required to submit to a professional diagnostic assessment within the meaning of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:35-14 in any case where: the defendant may be a drug dependent person as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-2; the defendant is eligible to be considered for a sentence to special probation pursuant to N.J.S.2C:35-14; and the court has not already ordered the defendant to submit to any such diagnostic assessment in regard to the pending matter.
The presentence report shall also include a report on any compensation paid by the Victims of Crime Compensation [Agency] Office as a result of the commission of the offense and, in any case where the victim chooses to provide one, a statement by the victim of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced. The statement may include the nature and extent of any physical harm or psychological or emotional harm or trauma suffered by the victim, the extent of any loss to include loss of earnings or ability to work suffered by the victim and the effect of the crime upon the victim's family. The probation department shall notify the victim or nearest relative of a homicide victim of his right to make a statement for inclusion in the presentence report if the victim or relative so desires. Any such statement shall be made within 20 days of notification by the probation department.
The presentence report shall specifically include an assessment of the gravity and seriousness of harm inflicted on the victim, including whether or not the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the victim of the offense was particularly vulnerable or incapable of resistance due to advanced age, disability, ill-health, or extreme youth, or was for any other reason substantially incapable of exercising normal physical or mental power of resistance.
c. If, after the presentence investigation, the court desires additional information concerning an offender convicted of an offense before imposing sentence, it may order any additional psychological or medical testing of the defendant.
d. Disclosure of any presentence investigation report or psychiatric examination report shall be in accordance with law and the Rules of Court, except that information concerning the defendant's financial resources shall be made available upon request to the Victims of Crime Compensation [Agency] Office or to any officer authorized under the provisions of section 3 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:46-4) to collect payment on an assessment, restitution or fine and that information concerning the defendant's coverage under any health insurance contract, policy or plan shall be made available, as appropriate to the Commissioner of Corrections and to the chief administrative officer of a county jail in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1995, c.254 (C.30:7E-1 et al.).
e. The court shall not impose a sentence of imprisonment for an extended term unless the ground therefor has been established at a hearing after the conviction of the defendant and on written notice to him of the ground proposed. The defendant shall have the right to hear and controvert the evidence against him and to offer evidence upon the issue.
f. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1986, c.85).
(cf: P.L.2012, c.23, s.6)
5. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill authorizes courts to revoke certain criminal fines, or waive certain assessments, penalties or fees and include mediation as an alternative condition of probation for adults and juveniles; authorizes testimony from a defendant and the defendant’s immediate family in the presentence report; and requires disposition service plans submitted to the court to consider all benefits for which a juvenile adjudicated delinquent is eligible.
Specifically, the bill allows a person who has been convicted of a crime to apply to the sentencing court at any time, including the time of sentencing, to either revoke a fine, or waive an assessment, penalty, or fee, that has been imposed. Currently, a court may only exercise its discretion in determining whether a fine may be revoked.
This bill also would provide judges with the discretion to order defendants, as a condition of probation, to submit to an approved mediation program in lieu of incarceration if a victim voluntarily consents to participate. The mediation program would mediate between the defendant and the victim with the purpose of holding the defendant accountable to the victim, including holding the defendant accountable by means of restitution or other agreed upon symbolic means of taking responsibility for the defendant’s action. This bill would provide courts in juvenile delinquency cases the same discretion.
Under the bill, a defendant’s immediate family would be allowed to provide statements that would be made part of the presentence reports. Currently, the presentence report includes an analysis of the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offense; the defendant’s history of delinquency or criminality, family situation and financial resources; whether the defendant owes any amount for a fine, assessment, or restitution; the defendant’s employment history and personal habits; the disposition of any charge made against any codefendant; the defendant’s history of civil commitment; and any other matters that the probation officer deems relevant or the court directs to be included. Additionally, if a defendant is being sentenced for a first or second degree violent crime, the report includes a medical history and psychological evaluation. The report also includes an impact statement by the victim or his relative.
The bill would allow the defendant’s family to submit a written statement to also be included in the presentence report. The statement could include a description of the circumstances related to the defendant and the commission of the crime from the family’s perspective and the potential impact of the defendant’s sentence on the family. The bill further allows information on the defendant’s developmental disabilities or mental health in the presentence report.
Finally, the bill clarifies that when the court places a juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent in the custody of the Department of Children and Families as a disposition, the service plan that the department is required to submit to the court is to take into account any Medicaid or other benefits for which the juvenile is eligible.