SENATE, No. 2095
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED MAY 15, 1997
By Senators LaROSSA and INVERSO
An Act concerning certain private correctional facilities and supplementing chapter 4 of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. As used in this act:
"Escape" means the willful failure of an inmate to remain within the extended limits of his confinement, or to return within the time prescribed to the private correctional facility designated by the Commissioner of Corrections for that inmate's confinement.
"Private correctional facility" means a residential center that is operated by a private entity and, pursuant to a contract with the Department of Corrections, provides for the care, custody, subsistence, treatment, education, training or welfare of inmates sentenced to the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections. The entity operating the private correctional facility may be organized or incorporated as either a for profit or nonprofit entity.
2. Upon discovering that an inmate has escaped from a private correctional facility, the operator of that facility shall, within one hour of that discovery, notify:
a. the chief law enforcement officer, or his designee, of the municipality in which the facility is located;
b. the chief law enforcement officer, or his designee, of the municipalities adjacent to the municipality in which the facility is located; and
c. the Commissioner of Corrections, or his designee.
Failure to provide such notice within the required time period shall be deemed a breach of contract and the operator shall be subject to, in addition to such other penalties as may be available, a fine of not more than $10,000 and, at the discretion of the commissioner, termination of the contract.
3. An inmate who escapes from a private correctional facility shall be subject to the penalties set forth in N.J.S.2C:29-5 and thereafter shall not be eligible for confinement in any private correctional facility.
4. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill requires operators who have contracted with the Department of Corrections to provide private residential facilities for the custody, care or treatment of inmates, to give proper notice whenever they discover an inmate has escaped.
Under the provisions of the bill, the operator of one of these private correctional facilities is required to notify (1) the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality wherein the facility is located; (2) the chief law enforcement officers of the adjacent municipalities; and (3) the Commissioner of Corrections whenever an escape is discovered. The bill specifies that this notice must be given within one hour of the discovery of the escape.
Failure to provide this notice is deemed a breach of contract and can result (1) in a fine of not more than $10,000 for the operator and (2) at the discretion of the Commissioner of Corrections, a termination of the contract.
Furthermore, the bill clarifies that an inmate who escapes from a private correctional facility is subject to the statutory penalties set forth in N.J.S.2C:29-5. Under that section of law, escapees are guilty of a crime of the third degree. A crime of the third degree is punishable by a fine of not more than $7,500, imprisonment for a term of between three and five years, or both. If the escapee uses force, the threat of force or a dangerous weapon in making his escape, the penalty is upgraded to a crime of the second degree. A crime of the second degree is punishable by a fine of not more than $100,000, a imprisonment for a term of between five and ten years, or both.
Finally, the bill directs that any inmate who escapes from a private correctional facility is thereafter ineligible for future placement in such a facility.
Requires private correctional facilities to give notice to local police of escapes; establishes penalties.