ASSEMBLY, No. 2619

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 8, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblyman  BENJIE E. WIMBERLY

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  JAMEL C. HOLLEY

District 20 (Union)

Assemblywoman  ELIZABETH MAHER MUOIO

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblyman  NICHOLAS CHIARAVALLOTI

District 31 (Hudson)

Assemblywoman  SHAVONDA E. SUMTER

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Senator  JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

Senator  NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Cunningham and Ruiz

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires that certain inmates with detainers be provided access to drug treatment programs.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning access to drug treatment programs in State correctional facilities and supplementing Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    a.    Notwithstanding any rules or regulations to the contrary, no person incarcerated in a State correctional facility shall be denied access to participation in a drug treatment program which operates within a State correctional facility if the denial is based solely on that person having any detainer or open charge issued against him which precludes eligibility for full minimum custody status.

     b.    The Commissioner of Corrections shall promulgate rules and regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month next following enactment, but the commissioner may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that an inmate in a State correctional facility who is otherwise eligible for drug treatment cannot be denied access to a drug treatment program operating in a State correctional facility based solely on that inmate having any detainer or open charge issued against him.

     In order to participate in the drug treatment available as part of the residential community release program, the mutual assistance program, or the therapeutic community substance abuse disorder treatment program, an inmate is required to meet certain eligibility criteria pursuant to regulations of the Commissioner of Corrections.

     One of the requirements is that an inmate be classified at “full minimum custody status.”  An inmate is excluded from “full minimum custody status” if he has any detainers or open charges, from any jurisdiction, issued against him.     While detainers and open charges are sometimes disposed of while a person is incarcerated, inmates are often unsuccessful in having these matters resolved. As a result, they are barred from receiving drug treatment during the terms of their custodial sentences.

     The purpose of this bill is to allow an inmate in need of drug treatment to have access to it, regardless of any detainer or open charge, provided he is otherwise eligible and the treatment is available. Under the bill, an inmate with a detainer or open charge would only be eligible for drug treatment programs which operate in State correctional facilities.