§1

C. 30:4-123.51c







P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 214, approved August 19, 1997

Assembly Committee Substitute (First Reprint) for

Assembly, No. 22

 

 

 

 

An Act concerning medical parole and supplementing and amending P.L.1979, c.441.

 

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

 

      1. (New section) a. (1) For the purpose of this section, "terminal condition, disease or syndrome" means a prognosis by the licensed physicians designated by the Commissioner of Corrections pursuant to subsection b. of this section that an inmate has six months or less to live.

      (2) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, the appropriate board panel may release on medical parole any inmate serving any sentence of imprisonment who has been diagnosed pursuant to subsection b. of this section as suffering from a terminal condition, disease or syndrome and is found by the appropriate board panel to be so debilitated or incapacitated by the terminal condition, disease or syndrome as to be permanently physically incapable of committing a crime if released on parole. Notwithstanding any provision of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.45 et seq.) to the contrary, the appropriate board panel may release any such inmate at any time during the term of the sentence. 1An inmate placed on parole pursuant to this section shall be subject to custody, supervision and conditions as provided in section 15 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:3-123.59) and shall be subject to sanctions for a violation 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).1

      (3) No inmate serving any sentence for a violation of N.J.S.2C:11-3; N.J.S.2C:11-4; N.J.S.2C:13-1; subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:14-2; N.J.S.2C:15-1 in which the inmate, while in the course of committing the theft, attempted to kill another, or purposely inflicted or attempted to inflict serious bodily injury, or was armed with or used or threatened the immediate use of a deadly weapon; subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:17-1; or N.J.S.2C:24-4 or an attempt to commit any of these offenses shall be eligible for the medical parole authorized under paragraph (2) of this section.

      b. A medical diagnosis that an inmate is suffering from a terminal condition, disease or syndrome shall be made by two licensed physicians designated by the Commissioner of Corrections. The diagnosis shall include, but not be limited to:

      (1) a description of the terminal condition, disease or syndrome;

      (2) a prognosis concerning the likelihood of recovery from the terminal condition, disease or syndrome;

      (3) a description of the inmate's physical incapacity; and

      (4) a description of the type of ongoing treatment that would be required if the inmate were released on medical parole.

      c. A request for a medical diagnosis to determine whether an inmate is eligible for a medical parole under this section may be submitted to the appropriate board panel by the Commissioner of Corrections, the administrator or superintendent of a correctional facility; the inmate; a member of the inmate's family or the inmate's attorney. The request shall be submitted in a manner and form prescribed by the board.

      d. At least five working days prior to commencing its review of a request for a medical parole, the appropriate board panel 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 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 medical diagnosis prepared pursuant to subsection b. of this section as the board shall deem appropriate and necessary.

      Upon receipt of the notice, the sentencing court; county prosecutor or Attorney General, as the case may be; the victim or member of the family of the victim, as the case may be, shall have 10 working days to review the notice and submit comments to the appropriate board panel. If a recipient of the notice does 1not1 submit comments within that 10 day period following the receipt of the notice, the panel may presume that the recipient does not wish to submit comments and proceed with its consideration of the request for medical parole. Any comments provided by a recipient shall be delivered to the appropriate board panel in the same manner or by the same method as notice was given by the panel to that recipient.

      The information 1[contain] contained1 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 1[of] or1 those comments.

      Notice given under the provisions of this subsection shall be in lieu of any other notice of parole consideration required under P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.45 et seq.).

      Nothing in this subsection 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 conduct its review of a request for medical parole as expeditiously as possible.

      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 member of a victim' s family given notice pursuant to subsection d. of this section.

      f. Whenever an inmate is granted medical parole pursuant to this section, the appropriate board shall require, as a condition precedent to release, that the inmate's release plan include:

      (1) identification of a community sponsor;

      (2) verification of the availability of appropriate medical services sufficient to meet the treatment requirements identified pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection b. of this section; and

      (3) verification of appropriate housing which may include, but 1need1 not be limited to, a hospital, hospice, nursing home facility or other housing accommodation suitable to the inmate's medical condition, disease or syndrome.

      g. 1[As] In addition to any conditions imposed pursuant to section 15 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.59), as1 a condition of release on medical parole, the appropriate board panel may require an inmate to submit to periodic medical diagnoses by a licensed physician.      h. If, after review of a medical diagnosis required under the provisions of subsection g. of this section, the appropriate board panel determines that a parolee released on medical parole is no longer so debilitated or incapacitated by a terminal condition, disease or syndrome as to be physically incapable 1[or] of1 committing a crime, 1[or if a parolee released on medical parole commits a new crime,]1 the parolee shall be returned to confinement in an appropriate facility designated by the Commissioner of Corrections.

      A decision to return the parolee to confinement pursuant to this subsection shall be rendered only after a hearing by the appropriate board panel or by a hearing officer designated by the chairman of the board. 1Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of the board, an appropriate board panel or any parole officer to address a violation of a condition of parole pursuant to sections 16 through 21 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.60 through 30:4-123.65).1

      i. The denial of a request for medical parole or the return of a parolee to confinement under the provisions of subsection h. of this section shall not preclude that inmate from being considered for parole pursuant to subsection a. of section 7 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.51).

 

      2. Section 7 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.51) is amended to read as follows:

      7. a. Each adult inmate sentenced to a term of incarceration in a county penal institution, or to a specific term of years at the State Prison or the correctional institution for women shall become primarily eligible for parole after having served any judicial or statutory mandatory minimum term, or one-third of the sentence imposed where no mandatory minimum term has been imposed less commutation time for good behavior pursuant to N.J.S.2A:164-24 or R.S.30:4-140 and credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments pursuant to P.L.1972, c. 115 (C. 30:8-28.1 et seq.) or R.S.30:4-92. Consistent with the provisions of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice (N.J.S.2C:11-3, 2C:14-6, 2C:43-6, 2C:43-7), commutation and work credits shall not in any way reduce any judicial or statutory mandatory minimum term and such credits accrued shall only be awarded subsequent to the expiration of the term.

      b. Each adult inmate sentenced to a term of life imprisonment shall become primarily eligible for parole after having served any judicial or statutory mandatory minimum term, or 25 years where no mandatory minimum term has been imposed less commutation time for good behavior and credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments. If an inmate sentenced to a specific term or terms of years is eligible for parole on a date later than the date upon which he would be eligible if a life sentence had been imposed, then in such case the inmate shall be eligible for parole after having served 25 years, less commutation time for good behavior and credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments. Consistent with the provisions of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice (N.J.S.2C:11-3, 2C:14-6, 2C:43-6, 2C:43-7), commutation and work credits shall not in any way reduce any judicial or statutory mandatory minimum term and such credits accrued shall only be awarded subsequent to the expiration of the term.

      c. Each inmate sentenced to a specific term of years pursuant to the "Controlled Dangerous Substances Act," P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 through 45) shall become primarily eligible for parole after having served one-third of the sentence imposed less commutation time for good behavior and credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments.

      d. Each adult inmate sentenced to an indeterminate term of years as a young adult offender pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-5 shall become primarily eligible for parole consideration pursuant to a schedule of primary eligibility dates developed by the board, less adjustment for program participation. In no case shall the board schedule require that the primary parole eligibility date for a young adult offender be greater than the primary parole eligibility date required pursuant to this section for the presumptive term for the crime authorized pursuant to N.J.S.2C:44-1(f).

      e. Each adult inmate sentenced to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center, Avenel, shall become primarily eligible for parole upon recommendation by the special classification review board pursuant to N.J.S.2C:47-5, except that no such inmate shall become primarily eligible prior to the expiration of any mandatory or fixed minimum term imposed pursuant to N.J.S.2C:14-6.

      f. Each juvenile inmate committed to an indeterminate term shall be immediately eligible for parole.

      g. Each adult inmate of a county jail, workhouse or penitentiary shall become primarily eligible for parole upon service of 60 days of his aggregate sentence or as provided for in subsection a. of this section, whichever is greater. Whenever any such inmate's parole eligibility is within six months of the date of such sentence, the judge shall state such eligibility on the record which shall satisfy all public and inmate notice requirements. The chief executive officer of the institution in which county inmates are held shall generate all reports pursuant to subsection d. of section 10 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.54). The parole board shall have the authority to promulgate time periods applicable to the parole processing of inmates of county penal institutions, except that no inmate may be released prior to the primary eligibility date established by this subsection, unless consented to by the sentencing judge. No inmate sentenced to a specific term of years at the State Prison or the correctional institution for women shall become primarily eligible for parole until service of a full nine months of his aggregate sentence.

      h. When an inmate is sentenced to more than one term of imprisonment, the primary parole eligibility terms calculated pursuant to this section shall be aggregated by the board for the purpose of determining the primary parole eligibility date, except that no juvenile commitment shall be aggregated with any adult sentence. The board shall promulgate rules and regulations to govern aggregation under this subsection.

      i. The primary eligibility date shall be computed by a designated representative of the board and made known to the inmate in writing not later than 90 days following the commencement of the sentence. In the case of an inmate sentenced to a county penal institution such notice shall be made pursuant to subsection g. of this section. Each inmate shall be given the opportunity to acknowledge in writing the receipt of such computation. Failure or refusal by the inmate to acknowledge the receipt of such computation shall be recorded by the board but shall not constitute a violation of this subsection.

      j. Except as provided in this subsection, each inmate sentenced pursuant to N.J.S.2A:113-4 for a term of life imprisonment, N.J.S.2A:164-17 for a fixed minimum and maximum term or N.J.S.2C:1-1(b) shall not be primarily eligible for parole on a date computed pursuant to this section, but shall be primarily eligible on a date computed pursuant to P.L.1948, c.84 (C.30:4-123.1 et seq.), which is continued in effect for this purpose. Inmates classified as second, third or fourth offenders pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1948, c.84 (C.30:4-123.12) shall become primarily eligible for parole after serving one-third, one-half or two-thirds of the maximum sentence imposed, respectively, less in each instance commutation time for good behavior and credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments; provided, however, that if the prosecuting attorney or the sentencing court advises the board that the punitive aspects of the sentence imposed on such inmates will not have been fulfilled by the time of parole eligibility calculated pursuant to this subsection, then the inmate shall not become primarily eligible for parole until serving an additional period which shall be one-half of the difference between the primary parole eligibility date calculated pursuant to this subsection and the parole eligibility date calculated pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1948, c.84 (C.30:4-123.12). If the prosecuting attorney or the sentencing court advises the board that the punitive aspects of the sentence have not been fulfilled, such advice need not be supported by reasons and will be deemed conclusive and final. Any such decision shall not be subject to judicial review except to the extent mandated by the New Jersey and United States Constitutions. The board shall, reasonably prior to considering any such case, advise the prosecuting attorney and the sentencing court of all information relevant to such inmate's parole eligibility.

      k. 1Notwithstanding any provisions of this section or N.J.S.2C:47-5 to the contrary, a person sentenced to imprisonment pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:11-3 shall not be eligible for parole.

      l.1 Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections a. 1[thorough] through1 j. of this section, the appropriate board panel, as provided in section 1 of P.L. , c. (C. )(now pending before the Legislature as this bill), may release an inmate serving a sentence of imprisonment on medical parole at anytime.

(cf: P.L.1997, c.60, s.3)

 

      3. This act shall take effect immediately.

                           

 

Permits medical parole for certain terminally ill or severely incapacitated inmates.