STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION
Senator   LORETTA WEINBERG
District 37 (Bergen)
Establishes supervised community reintegration program in DOC for certain victims of domestic abuse.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
An Act establishing a supervised community reintegration program, supplementing Title 30 of the Revised Statutes, 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.   There is hereby established in the Department of Corrections a supervised community reintegration program.   The purpose of the program is to foster the successful community reintegration of certain domestic violence victims who meet the following criteria:
(1)     the person was convicted of crimes committed against the person   s abuser.    Abuser    is defined for purposes of P.L.       , c.        (C.                ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) as the named perpetrator of the domestic violence in the documentation provided pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection e. of this section;
(2)     the inmate is serving a sentence of imprisonment;
(3)     the inmate is found to present a low risk of re-offense; and
(4)     the other requirements of this section are met.
b.     An eligible inmate approved for participation in the program shall undergo a period of reentry training, be required to agree to a reintegration plan setting out the conditions of participation in the program, and gradually transition to supervision in the community, which may include assignment to a secure residential community placement and participation in a work release program.
c.       Notwithstanding any provision of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.45 et al.), N.J.S.2C:7-2, N.J.S.2C:43-11, or any other law to the contrary, the State Parole Board may authorize the participation of an eligible inmate in the supervised community reintegration program in accordance with the requirements of this section.   An eligible inmate participating in the supervised community reintegration program shall remain in the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections and be subject to custody, supervision, and conditions as provided in section 15 of P.L.1979, c.441 (C.30:4-123.59), as well as those set out in this section.   Any participating inmate also shall be subject to the same sanctions for violation of a condition of the program that apply for violations 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), including removal from the program and a return to prior custody status.
d.     A request for consideration to participate in the supervised community reintegration program shall be submitted to the appropriate panel of the State Parole Board.   The request shall be submitted in a manner and form prescribed by the board.
e.       (1)   For the purposes of this act, a person shall be considered a victim of domestic violence if the person provides one or more of the following:
(a)     a restraining order or other documentation of equitable relief issued by a court of competent jurisdiction;
(b)     a police record documenting the domestic violence;
(c)     documentation that the perpetrator of the domestic violence has been convicted of one or more of the offenses enumerated in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19);
(d)     medical documentation of the domestic violence;
(e)     certification from a certified Domestic Violence Specialist or the director of a designated domestic violence agency that the person is a victim of domestic violence; or
(f)     other documentation or certification of the domestic violence provided by a social worker, member of the clergy, shelter worker, or other professional who has assisted the person in dealing with domestic violence.
(2)     As used in this subsection:
"Certified Domestic Violence Specialist" means a person who has fulfilled the requirements of certification as a Domestic Violence Specialist established by the New Jersey Association of Domestic Violence Professionals.
"Designated domestic violence agency" means a countywide organization with a primary purpose to provide services to victims of domestic violence, and which provides services that conform to the core domestic violence services profile as defined in the Division of Child Protection and Permanency in the Department of Children and Families and is under contract with the division for the express purpose of providing those services.
2.       (New section)       An inmate may be eligible to apply for a hearing to the State Parole Board seeking participation in the supervised community reintegration program.   The application also shall provide information affirming the following: (1) the crime for which the inmate is serving a sentence of imprisonment was committed against the alleged abuser and no one else; and (2) the inmate has not been convicted of a crime of violence against a person other than the alleged abuser.
3.       (New section)       Prior
to the State Parole Board panel considering an application, the Department of
Corrections shall cause to be completed application review materials, including
a psychological evaluation of the applicant, an objective risk assessment, and
a summary of the applicant   s conduct regarding the offense, history, and
evidence of abuse, and classification of institutional record since conviction.
4.     (New section)   a.   The application shall first be considered by the appropriate panel of the State Parole Board, which may include a hearing at the discretion of the board; provided, however, that no application shall be passed on to the full board for consideration unless a hearing is held.
b.     The panel shall recommend that the application be considered by the full parole board if it finds the following:
(1)     the crime for which the inmate is serving a sentence of imprisonment was committed against the abuser and no one else;
(2)     the inmate has not been convicted of a crime of violence against a person other than the alleged abuser; and
(3)     upon a review of the institutional record, victim input, and all other relevant information, including the results of the risk assessment and a psychological evaluation, the panel concludes that the inmate presents a low risk of re-offense.   Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the board panel determines that an adult inmate has seriously or persistently violated specifically defined institutional rules or has engaged in conduct indictable in nature while incarcerated, the inmate shall not be recommended for participation.
c.       Any recommend