P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 71, approved April 16, 1997
Senate, No. 1545
An Act concerning employees at certain State facilities and amending P.L.1988, c.45.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 2 of P.L.1988, c.45 (C.30:4-3.5) is amended to read as follows:
2. a. A facility shall not employ any individual unless the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services has first determined, consistent with the requirements and standards of this act, that no criminal history record information exists on file in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division, or in the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police, which would disqualify that individual from being employed at the facility. A criminal history record background check shall be conducted at least once every two years for an individual employed at the facility. An individual shall be disqualified from employment under this act if that individual's criminal history record check reveals a record of conviction of any of the following crimes and offenses:
(1) In New Jersey, any crime or disorderly persons offense:
(a) Involving danger to the person, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses set forth in N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq., N.J.S.2C:12-1 et seq., N.J.S.2C:13-1 et seq., N.J.S.2C:14-1 et seq. or N.J.S.2C:15-1 et seq.; or
(b) Against the family, children or incompetents, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses set forth in N.J.S.2C:24-1 et seq.; or
(2) In any other state or jurisdiction, of conduct which, if committed in New Jersey, would constitute any of the crimes or disorderly persons offenses described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.
b. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, no individual shall be disqualified from employment under this act on
the basis of any conviction disclosed by a criminal history record check performed pursuant to this act if the individual has affirmatively demonstrated to the Commissioner of Human Services clear and convincing evidence of his rehabilitation. In determining whether an individual has affirmatively demonstrated rehabilitation, the following factors shall be considered:
(1) The nature and responsibility of the position which the convicted individual would hold;
(2) The nature and seriousness of the offense;
(3) The circumstances under which the offense occurred;
(4) The date of the offense;
(5) The age of the individual when the offense was committed;
(6) Whether the offense was an isolated or repeated incident;
(7) Any social conditions which may have contributed to the offense; and
(8) Any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct in prison or in the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received, acquisition of additional academic or vocational schooling, successful participation in correctional work-release programs, or the recommendation of persons who have had the individual under their supervision.
c. If a prospective employee of a facility refuses to consent to, or cooperate in, the securing of a criminal history record background check, the commissioner shall direct the principal administrator not to consider the person for employment at the facility. The prospective employee shall, however, retain any available right of review by the Merit System Board in the Department of Personnel.
d. If a current employee of a facility refuses to consent to, or cooperate in, the securing of a criminal history record background check, the commissioner shall direct the principal administrator to immediately remove the person from his position at the facility and to terminate the person's employment at the facility. The employee shall, however, retain any available right of review by the Merit System Board in the Department of Personnel.
e. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section to the contrary, a facility may provisionally employ an individual for a period not to exceed six months if that individual's State Bureau of Identification criminal history record background check does not contain any information that would disqualify the individual from employment at the facility and if the individual submits to the commissioner a sworn statement attesting that the individual has not been convicted of any crime or disorderly persons offense as described in this act, pending a determination that no criminal history record background information which would disqualify the individual exists on file in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division. An individual who is provisionally employed pursuant to this subsection shall perform his duties at the facility under the direct supervision of a superior who acts in a supervisory capacity over that individual until the determination concerning the federal information is complete.
(cf: P.L1993, c.1, s.1)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill requires employees at State facilities for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled to undergo criminal history record background checks at least every two years. Currently, employees at these facilities are only required to undergo the background checks prior to employment.
This bill is one of several legislative initiatives recommended in the final report of the Senate Task Force on Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital issued in June, 1996.
Requires criminal history background checks to be conducted at least every two years for employees at State facilities for mentally ill and developmentally disabled persons.