Bill Text: NJ A4235 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Requires public health emergency credits to be awarded to certain inmates and parolees during public health emergency; prohibits contact with victim upon release of inmate awarded credits.***

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 16-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-09-24 - Substituted by S2519 (4R) [A4235 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-A4235-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 4235

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 8, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  RAJ MUKHERJI

District 33 (Hudson)

Assemblywoman  SHAVONDA E. SUMTER

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires public health emergency credits to be awarded to certain inmates during public health emergency declared by Governor.  

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning public health emergency credits, amending N.J.S.2C:47-3, and supplementing Title 30 of the Revised Statutes and P.L.1993, c.133 (C.2A:4A-44).

 

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

 

     1.    (New section)    a.   In addition to credits awarded pursuant to R.S.30:4-92; section 3 of P.L.2009, c.330 (C.30:4-92a); and R.S.30:4-140, whenever a public health emergency, pursuant to the "Emergency Health Powers Act," P.L.2005, c.222 (C.26:13-1 et seq.), has been declared by the Governor and is in effect, the commissioner also shall award inmates public health emergency credits in accordance with this section if the public health emergency:

     (1)   arises as a result of a communicable or infectious disease; and

     (2)   results in the modification of correctional facility operations.

     b.    Except as provided in subsection c. of this section, public health emergency credits shall be awarded to any inmate in the custody of the Department of Corrections who is serving a sentence or receiving jail credits applicable to the sentence. The credits shall provide further remission from both the maximum and minimum term of the inmate's sentence at the rate of six months for each month, or portion thereof, served during the declared emergency.  An inmate shall not be awarded public health emergency credits in excess of 12 months of remission for any declared emergency. 

      c.   Public health emergency credits shall not be awarded to an inmate whose conduct was characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior pursuant to N.J.S.2C:47-3.

     d.    Nothing in this section shall be deemed to limit or affect an inmate's eligibility for parole consideration as provided for in section 10 of P.L.1948, c.84 (C.30:4-123.1 et seq.). 

 

     2.    N.J.S.2C:47-3 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:47-3. Disposition.

     a.     If the report of the examination reveals that the offender's conduct was characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior and further reveals that the offender is amenable to sex offender treatment and is willing to participate in such treatment, the court shall determine whether the offender's conduct was so characterized and whether the offender is amenable to sex offender treatment and is willing to participate in such treatment and shall record its findings on the judgment of conviction.

     b.    If the court finds that the offender's conduct was characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior and that the offender is amenable to sex offender treatment and is willing to participate in such treatment, the court shall, upon the recommendation of the Department of Corrections, sentence the offender to a term of incarceration to be served in the custody of the commissioner at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center for sex offender treatment as provided in subsection h. of this section, or place the offender on probation with the requirement, as a condition of probation, that he receive outpatient psychological or psychiatric treatment as prescribed.

     c.     A sentence of incarceration or probation imposed pursuant to subsection b. or f. of this section shall be set in accordance with chapters 43, 44 and 45 of this Title.

     d.    The court shall impose sentence in accordance with chapters 43, 44 and 45 of this Title and not as provided in subsection b. of this section if it shall appear from the report of the examination made of the offender pursuant to section N.J.S.2C:47-1 that the offender's conduct was not characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior or that the offender is not amenable to sex offender treatment. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.30:4-140 or R.S.30:4-92 or any other law, a sentence imposed pursuant to this subsection on an offender who is not amenable to sex offender treatment shall not be reduced by commutation time for good behavior or credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments.

     e.     (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1998, c.72).

     f.     If the court finds that the offender's conduct was characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior and that the offender is amenable to sex offender treatment, but that the offender is not willing to participate in such treatment, the court shall sentence the offender to a term of incarceration to be served in a facility designated by the commissioner pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1969, c.22 (C.30:4-91.2).  The offender shall become primarily eligible for parole in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.2C:47-5; provided, however,  no offender shall become primarily eligible for parole prior to the expiration of any judicial or statutory mandatory minimum term.  An offender who meets the criteria of this subsection may, on a biennial basis, request to be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center.  Within 90 days after receiving a request for a transfer, the Department of Corrections shall conduct a psychological examination.  If, upon the completion of a psychological examination, the Department of Corrections determines that the offender is amenable to sex offender treatment and is willing to participate in such treatment, the commissioner may order the offender to be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center.

     g.    Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.30:4-140 [or] , R.S.30:4-92, section 1 of P.L.    c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), or any other law, a sentence imposed pursuant to subsection f. of this section shall not be reduced by commutation time for good behavior or credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments for any year or fractional part of a year that the offender is confined in a facility other than the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center; provided, however, if the offender is at any time transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center pursuant to subsection f. of this section, the sentence imposed on the offender shall be reduced by commutation time for good behavior and credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments for any year or fractional part of a year that the offender is incarcerated at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center following the date of such transfer.

     h.    An offender sentenced to a term of incarceration pursuant to subsection b. of this section shall be confined as follows:

     (1)   If the court imposes a sentence of seven years or less, the Department of Corrections shall confine the offender to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center as soon as practicable after the date of sentence.

     (2)   If the court imposes a sentence of more than seven years, the Department of Corrections shall confine the offender in a facility designated by the commissioner pursuant to section 2 of  P.L.1969, c.22 (C.30:4-91.2).  At least 30 days prior to the date which precedes the expiration date of the offender's sentence by five years, including any reductions for commutation time for good behavior and credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments, the Department of Corrections shall complete a psychological examination of the offender to determine the offender's amenability to sex offender treatment and willingness to participate in such treatment; provided, however, no such examination shall be required if less than two years has elapsed since the Department of Corrections completed a psychological examination pursuant to N.J.S.2C:47-1.  If the report of the examination reveals that the offender is amenable to sex offender treatment and is willing to participate in such treatment, the offender shall be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center as soon as practicable.  If the report of the examination reveals that the offender is not amenable to sex offender treatment, the offender shall not be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center.  If the report of the examination reveals that the offender is amenable to sex offender treatment but is not willing to participate in such treatment, the offender shall not be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center.  An offender may, on a biennial basis, request to be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center.  Within 90 days after receiving a request for a transfer, the Department of Corrections shall conduct a psychological examination.  If, upon the completion of a psychological examination,  the Department of Corrections determines that the offender is amenable to sex offender treatment and is willing to participate in such treatment, the commissioner shall order the offender to be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center as soon as practicable.

     (3)   If a sentence is imposed pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1997, c.117 (C.2C:43-7.2) or if any other judicial or statutory mandatory minimum term of more than seven years is imposed, the offender shall be confined in a facility designated by the commissioner pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1969, c.22 (C.30:4-91.2).  At least 30 days prior to the date which precedes the expiration date of the mandatory minimum term by five years, the Department of Corrections shall complete a psychological examination of the offender to determine the offender's amenability to sex offender treatment and willingness to participate in such treatment; provided, however, no such examination shall be required if less than two years has elapsed since the Department of Corrections completed a psychological examination pursuant to N.J.S.2C:47-1.  If the report of the examination reveals that the offender is amenable to sex offender treatment and is willing to participate in such treatment, the offender shall be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center as soon as practicable.  If the report of the examination reveals that the offender is not amenable to sex offender treatment, the offender shall not be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center.  If the report of the examination reveals that the offender is amenable to sex offender treatment, but is not willing to participate in such treatment, the offender shall not be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center.  An offender may, on a biennial basis, request to be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center.  Within 90 days after receiving a request for a transfer, the Department of Corrections shall conduct a psychological examination.  If upon completion of a psychological examination the Department of Corrections determines that the offender is amenable to sex offender treatment and is willing to participate in such treatment, the commissioner shall order the offender to be transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center as soon as practicable.

     i.     Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 30:4-140 or R.S. 30:4-92 or any other law, a sentence imposed pursuant to subsection b. of this section shall not be reduced by commutation time for good behavior or credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments for any year or fractional part of a year from the date the Department of Corrections determines, as a result of a psychological evaluation conducted pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection h. of this section, that the offender is not amenable to sex offender treatment or not willing to participate in such treatment; provided, however, if the offender is subsequently determined by the Department of Corrections to be amenable to sex offender treatment and willing to participate in such treatment and is transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center, the sentence imposed on the offender shall be reduced by commutation time for good behavior and credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments for any year or fractional part of a year that the offender is incarcerated at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center following the date of such transfer.

     j.     An offender who is sentenced to a term of life imprisonment without eligibility for parole shall not be confined in the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center but shall be confined in a facility designated by the commissioner pursuant to section 2 of P.L. 1969, c.22 (C.30:4-91.2).

     k.    The commissioner shall be required to provide for the treatment of a sex offender sentenced pursuant to N.J.S.2C:47-1 et seq. only when the offender is incarcerated in the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center.  This requirement shall not apply when the offender is incarcerated in another facility.

(cf: P.L.1998, c.72, s.3)

 

     3.    (New section)    a.   Except as provided in subsection b. of this section, the procedures and standards for the award of credits set forth in R.S.30:4-92; section 3 of P.L.2009, c.330 (C.30:4-92a); section 1 of P.L.    c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill); and R.S.30:4-140 shall apply to any juvenile serving a sentence in a State correctional facility operated by the Juvenile Justice Commission.

     b.    Public health emergency credits shall not be awarded to any juvenile who is deemed a repetitive, compulsive sex offender.  

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires public health emergency credits to be awarded to certain inmates during a public health emergency declared by the Governor in order to provide remission of time from their sentences. 

     The COVID-19 death rate of inmates in New Jersey is the highest in the country.  While the State of New Jersey has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, inmates in this State have been afflicted at a particularly alarming rate, as the inability of inmates to quarantine or practice social distancing creates a higher risk to their lives.  In providing a method to award these credits, it is the sponsor's intent to expedite the release of certain inmates who are approaching the end of their sentences in order to reduce the risk of harm to inmates and correctional facility staff, while simultaneously protecting the public safety.

     This bill provides for public health emergency credits to be awarded to certain inmates in the event a public health emergency is declared by the Governor that arises as a result of a communicable or infectious disease, and results in the modification of correctional facility operations.

     Under the bill, public health emergency credits are to be awarded to any inmate in the custody of the Department of Corrections who is serving a sentence or receiving jail credits applicable to the sentence. The credits would provide further remission from both the maximum and minimum term of the inmate's sentence at the rate of six months for each month, or portion of each month, served during the declared emergency with a maximum of 12 months of remission to be awarded for any declared emergency period.  The award of public health emergency credits is not to limit or affect an inmate's eligibility for parole consideration.

      Public health emergency credits are not to be awarded under the bill to an inmate who has been deemed a repetitive, compulsive sex offender.

     The bill also provides that juvenile offenders, other than those deemed to be repetitive, compulsive sex offenders, are eligible to receive public health emergency credits.  The bill further provides that these juveniles are eligible to receive other credits provided under current law.

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