Assemblyman RAJ MUKHERJI
District 33 (Hudson)
Assemblyman Verrelli and Assemblywoman Murphy
Requires Commissioner of Corrections to institute 30-minute shift overlap in State correctional facilities.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning shift overlap in State correctional facilities and supplementing chapter 1B of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. In addition to the duties of the commissioner set forth in section 6 of P.L.1976, c.98 (C.30:1B-6), the commissioner shall institute in each State correctional facility a shift overlap of 30 minutes for the purpose of information dissemination between corrections officers beginning and ending their shifts.
2. This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month after enactment.
This bill requires the Commissioner of Corrections to institute a 30-minute shift overlap in each of the 13 correctional facilities in this State for the purpose of information dissemination between corrections officers beginning and ending their shifts.
Under the program of shift overlap established in the bill, a corrections officer whose shift has ended would be required to remain at his or her post for 30 minutes after the end of the shift to report what happened during that shift to the incoming officer.
Shift overlap enhances the safety and well-being of the officers and inmates in correctional facilities by allowing for the sharing of information between incoming and outgoing officers, particularly on issues such as gang activities and contraband.
According to the Assembly Prison Gang Violence Task Force final report, issued December 12, 2006, the Department of Corrections historically provided for shift overlap periods of up to 30 minutes, but gradually reduced these periods until they were ultimately phased out altogether due to budget constraints.
According to the sponsor, this has resulted in increased danger to inmates and corrections officers, increased use of institutional lockups and search details, and decreased morale among corrections officers.