P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 425, approved January 19, 1998
Assembly, No. 2037
An Act concerning certain persons incarcerated for contempt of court and amending P.L.1968, c.372.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 1 of P.L.1968, c.372 (C.30:8-44) is amended to read as follows:
1. In any county in which the governing body, by ordinance or resolution, as appropriate, approves the application of this act and designates a county work release administrator who may be the sheriff, warden or other person, a person convicted of any offense, except as otherwise provided in section 2 of P.L.1994, c.153 (C.30:8-44.1) and sentenced to the county jail, workhouse or penitentiary of the county or a person incarcerated in the county jail, workhouse or penitentiary pursuant to the Rules of Court for contempt of an order or judgment issued by the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part may be placed at outside labor or permitted to attend a vocational training course operated or sponsored by a public or private agency in the county by order of the court by which the sentence or order of incarceration was imposed, or by the assignment judge of the county in which the sentence or order of incarceration was imposed, at the time such person is sentenced or incarcerated or at any time thereafter during the term of the sentence or term of incarceration. [In the case of female offenders a] A work release order may include permission for release from confinement during specified hours to care for [her] the offender's family. Such order may be revoked by the court which granted it at any time.
The Department of Corrections shall prepare and enforce regulations for the operation of this act in accordance with the provisions thereof.
(cf: P.L.1994, c.153, s.1)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
Under the provisions of N.J.S.A.30:8-44 and N.J.S.A.30:8-44.1, certain offenders sentenced to the county jail are allowed to participate in work release and vocational training release programs, upon order of the court. However, persons who are ordered by the family court to be incarcerated in the county jail on grounds of contempt of court are not eligible to participate in such programs under the current wording of these statutes.
Thus, persons who are incarcerated for contempt on grounds that they failed to pay child support or to pay other court-ordered financial obligations are unable to earn money during their incarceration in order to pay those obligations.
This bill would amend N.J.S.A.30:8-44 to clarify that family court judges may, in their discretion, allow persons incarcerated for contempt for their failure to pay child support or to comply with other court-ordered obligations to participate in work release or vocational training release programs.
Allows persons incarcerated by order of the family court on grounds of contempt of court to participate in work release programs.