ASSEMBLY, No. 1677

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblywoman  PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

Assemblywoman  GABRIELA M. MOSQUERA

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes supervised community reintegration program for certain victims of domestic abuse.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act establishing a supervised community reintegration program and supplementing Title 30 of the Revised Statute.

 

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

 

     1.    a. There is hereby established in the Department of Corrections a supervised community reintegration program.  The purpose of the program is to foster the successful community reintegration of certain domestic violence victims who meet the following criteria: 

     (1) the person was convicted of crimes committed against his abuser;

     (2) the inmate is serving a sentence of imprisonment;

     (3) the inmate is found to present a low risk of re-offense; and

     (4) the other requirements of this section are met.

     b.  Eligible inmates approved for participation in the program shall undergo a period of reentry training, be required to agree to a reintegration plan setting out the conditions of participation in the program, and to transition gradually to supervision in the community, which may include assignment to a secure residential community placement and may include participation in a work release program.

     c.  Notwithstanding any provision of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.45 et seq.), N.J.S.2C:7-2, N.J.S.2C:43-11, or any other law to the contrary, the State Parole Board may authorize the participation of an eligible inmate in the supervised community reintegration program in accordance with the requirements of this section. An eligible inmate participating in the supervised community reintegration program shall remain in the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections and be subject to custody, supervision, and conditions as provided in section 15 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.59), as well as those set out in this section. Any participating inmate also shall be subject to such sanctions for violation of a condition of the program as apply for violations of a condition of parole as provided in sections 16 through 21 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.60 through 30:4-123.65), including removal from the program and a return to prior custody status.

     d.    A request for consideration to participate in the supervised community reintegration program shall be submitted to the appropriate panel of the State Parole Board.  The request shall be submitted in a manner and form prescribed by the board.

 

     2.    An inmate may be eligible to apply for a hearing to the State Parole Board seeking participation in the supervised community reintegration program. The application must also provide information affirming the following: (1) the crime for which the inmate is serving a sentence of imprisonment was committed against the alleged abuser and no one else; and (2) the inmate has not been convicted of a crime of violence against another person.

 

     3.    Prior to the State Parole Board panel considering an application, the Department of Corrections shall cause to be completed application review materials, including a psychological evaluation of the applicant, an objective risk assessment, and a summary of the applicant’s conduct regarding the offense, history and evidence of abuse, and classification of institutional record since conviction.

 

     4.    a. The application shall first be considered by the appropriate panel of the State Parole Board, which may include a hearing at the discretion of the board; provided, however, that no application shall be passed onto the full board for consideration unless a hearing is held.

     b.    The panel shall recommend that the application be considered by the full parole board if it finds the following:

     (1) the crime for which the inmate is serving a sentence of imprisonment was committed against the abuser and no one else;

     (2) the inmate has not been convicted of a crime of violence against another person; and

     (3) upon a review of the institutional record, victim input, and all other relevant information, including the results of the risk assessment and a psychological evaluation, the panel concludes that the inmate presents a low risk of reoffense. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the board panel determines that an adult inmate has seriously or persistently violated specifically defined institutional rules or has engaged in conduct indictable in nature while incarcerated, the inmate shall not be recommended for participation.

     c.    Any recommendation for participation that is forwarded to the board shall also make recommendations for provisions of a reintegration plan and any special conditions of participation appropriate for the applicant. The conditions shall include identification of a community sponsor, medical, custody and training conditions, as well as the types of supervision that may be appropriate for the inmate.

 

     5.    If an application is recommended for consideration by the full State Parole Board membership, the board shall conduct a hearing to consider the application.  If it finds that the requirements set out in section 4 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) are met, it may order that the inmate be admitted to the supervised community reintegration program, and shall determine any special conditions of participation that shall apply.

     6.    a. At least 30 days prior to commencing its review of an application for participation in the program, the State Parole Board shall notify the appropriate sentencing court, county prosecutor, or if the matter was prosecuted by the Attorney General, the Attorney General, and any victim or member of the family of a victim who would be entitled to notice relating to a parole or the consideration of a parole under the provisions of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.45 et seq.). The notice shall be given in the manner prescribed by the board and shall contain all such information and documentation relating to the application as the board shall deem appropriate and necessary, as well as information on the program and the consideration process.

     b.    Upon receipt of the notice, the sentencing court, county prosecutor, or Attorney General, as the case may be, and the victim or members of the victim’s family, as the case may be, may submit comments to the appropriate board panel and also may be heard by the panel if a hearing is held by the panel and by the board.

     c.    The information contained in any notice given by a panel pursuant to this subsection and the contents of any comments submitted by a recipient in response thereto shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person who is not authorized to receive or review that information or those comments.

     d.    Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair any party’s right to be heard pursuant to P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.45 et seq.).

     e.    The appropriate board panel shall provide written notice of its decision to the sentencing court, the county prosecutor, or Attorney General, as the case may be, and any victim or members of a victim’s family given notice pursuant to subsection a. of this section. 

     f.     Whenever an eligible inmate is permitted to participate in the supervised community reintegration program pursuant to this section, the appropriate board shall require, as a condition precedent to release, that a reintegration plan be prepared to include:

     (1) identification of a community sponsor;

     (2) verification of the availability of appropriate residential community placement services, when necessary; and

     (3) such other conditions of participation specific to the inmate as may be determined by the board.

     Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of the State Parole Board, an appropriate board panel or parole officer of the State Parole Board to address a violation of a condition for participation in the program, including through dismissal from the program for a violation of conditions or a failure to meet the requirements of the reintegration plan.


     7.    The State Parole Board, in accordance with the provisions of the “Administrative Procedure Act” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) shall promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act.

 

     8.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes a program to facilitate the reintegration of certain domestic violence victims back into the community.

     This program, known as the supervised community reintegration program, is designed to assist individuals who have been convicted and incarcerated for committing crimes against their abusers.  To qualify for the program, an inmate must be found to present a low risk of re-offense.

     Inmates selected for the program are to undergo reentry training, agree to a reentry plan outlining their responsibilities under the program, and follow a transition plan that might include a secure residential community placement.

     When reviewing an inmate’s application to participate in the program, the State Parole Board is to give notice to the sentencing court, along with the prosecuting authority (either the county prosecutor or the Attorney General) and any victim or member of the victim’s family, advising the parties that they may submit comments to the board.

     The bill requires that the reintegration plan for each participant must include the name of the inmate’s community sponsor, verification that appropriate residential community services are available, and any other conditions the board deems appropriate.

     Participants who fail to fulfill their responsibilities under their reintegration plan or who violate the provisions of the program are to be removed from the program.