Title 10a. Department of Corrections Chapter 31. Adult County Correctional Facilities Subchapter 25. Vocational Training and Work Release Program
10A:31-25.5 Placement in a Work Release Program A person convicted and sentenced to an adult county correctional facility may be placed in a Work Release Program by order of the court in which such person was convicted, or by the assignment judge of the county in which the sentence was imposed at the time such person is sentenced or at any time thereafter during the term of the sentence.
10A:31-25.6 Inmates ineligible for Work Release Program participation
(a) The following shall make an inmate ineligible for participation in the Work Release Program:
1. Untried detainers for criminal offenses or immigration detainers;
2. Current convictions involving arson offenses;
3. Previous convictions for arson offenses, even if the current conviction is for an offense(s) other than arson; and/or
4. The applicable provisions of related statutes of the State of New Jersey, such as, but not limited to, Michael's Law at N.J.S.A. 39:4-51.
(b) Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:8-44.1, no person confined to an adult county correctional facility shall be eligible to participate in any work release or vocational training release program if he or she has been convicted of any of the following:
1. Any crime involving a sexual offense or child molestation as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1 et seq.;
2. Any crime endangering the welfare of children or incompetents which concerns sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child or an incompetent, as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 and N.J.S.A. 2C:24-7;
3. Any crime involving the manufacture, transportation, sale or possession, with the intent to sell or distribute, of a "controlled dangerous substance" or a "controlled dangerous substance analog," as defined in the "Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1986," P.L. 1987, c.106 (C.2C:35-1 et al.); or
4. Any crime involving the use of force or the threat of force upon a person or property including: armed robbery, aggravated assault, kidnapping, arson, manslaughter and murder.
10A:31-25.7 Application for admission to the Work Release Program
(a) The County Work Release Administrator designated by the governing body of the county or the County Board of Freeholders in accordance with N.J.S.A. 30:8-44 shall be responsible for advising county sentenced inmates that an application may be submitted to the County Work Release Administrator, who shall submit the application to the court for approval or disapproval to participate in the Work Release Program for purposes of employment, vocational training or to care for the offender's family. At any time, a work release order may be revoked by the court that granted the order.
(b) An inmate sentenced by the court to an adult county correctional facility, who desires an opportunity to participate in the Work Release Program by being released to the community for employment, vocational training or meeting family needs shall be required to complete and submit Form CWR-1 Application and Agreement for Assignment Under the Work Release Program to the County Work Release Administrator for submission to the court.
(c) The County Work Release Administrator shall review and evaluate the information collected on each application and make a recommendation to the court concerning admission to the Work Release Program. The basic information shall include, but is not limited to:
1. Prior criminal history;
2. Detailed information concerning present offense;
3. Detailed information regarding untried criminal charges pending and the current status of these charges;
4. Psychological and psychiatric evaluations, when available;
5. Record of violent or assaultive conduct;
6. Record of violation of financial or public trust;
7. Data on family relationships including responsibility to assist in family maintenance;
8. Work history;
9. Personal health;
10. Record of substance abuse; and
11. Information on job opportunities or vocational programs to meet the inmate's needs.
(d) The following facts and circumstances shall be viewed as negative factors when considering an inmate's application for the Work Release Program:
1. A record of association with organized crime;
2. A record of serious emotional or personality disorders;
3. A record of violent or assaultive behavior;
4. Previous violations of financial or public trust;
5. A high degree of public notoriety which would cause adverse reaction if the inmate were released to the community;
6. Indications that release to the community would be contrary to punitive intention of sentence; and
7. A history which indicates a record of convictions for offenses related to controlled dangerous substances (CDS).
10A:31-25.8 Job site evaluation
(a) The County Work Release Administrator shall be responsible for evaluating all prospective places of employment of inmates in accordance with N.J.S.A. 30:4-91.3 et seq.
(b) Whenever possible, work release employment shall be related to prior vocational training, work experience and/or the institutional training of the inmate.
(c) The following shall initially be taken into account when evaluating the job site:
1. Working conditions of employees;
2. Potential hazards to health of employees;
3. Credibility of the employer;
4. Verification of a fair rate of pay, not less than minimum wage;
5. Coverage of an appropriate workers' compensation plan;
6. Availability of transportation;
7. Duration of the offered employment and benefits; and
8. Proximity to the adult county correctional facility.
(d) Inmates shall not be placed in Work Release Program assignments which will result in the displacement of workers employed in the community.
(e) Representatives of local union central bodies or similar labor union organizations shall be consulted about the placement of inmates with an employer, when appropriate.
(f) If suitable private outside employment cannot be found for an inmate, the inmate may be employed by the county at a fair wage and reasonable hours of work.
10A:31-25.9 Notice to inmate
Form CWR-2 Notification of Admission to Work Release with Specified Conditions shall be used by the County Work Release Administrator to notify the inmate of the court's decision on the inmate's application.
10A:31-25.10 Work Release Plan
(a) The County Work Release Administrator and the inmate shall prepare a detailed Work Release Plan (Form CWR-3 Approved Work Release Plan). The plan shall include information concerning the job, transportation and a statement authorizing the County Work Release Administrator to make disbursements from earnings.
(b) The information concerning the job placement shall include, but is not limited to:
1. The name of employer;
2. The address of employer;
3. The telephone number of employer;
4. The location of work site;
5. The hourly or other rate of pay;
6. Work days and hours;
7. A plan for overtime or shift work, if necessary; and
8. An evaluation of the job offer by the County Work Release Administrator.
(c) Each Work Release Plan shall contain a written detailed Transportation Plan. The Transportation Plan shall include, but is not limited to:
1. The dates and times of leaving and returning to the adult county correctional facility;
2. The times of arrival and departure from the job;
3. The method of transportation (for example, facility vehicle, public, private conveyance);
4. The daily cost of transportation;
5. The routes of travel; and
6. A procedure to be used when there are unexpected changes in travel arrangements, such as extended work conditions, delays caused by breakdowns, etc.
(d) If the Transportation Plan calls for the use of a private conveyance as the method of transportation, the County Work Release Administrator should ensure that the appropriate licensing, vehicle registration and insurance coverage are provided. Copies of these documents shall be contained in the inmate's file.
(e) The Transportation Plan should be flexible so as to allow for normal problems anticipated in daily travel. Generally, travel time to and from a job should not exceed one hour each way.
(f) The final section of the Work Release Plan shall include information on the disbursement of wages.
(g) When the Work Release Plan is completed and reviewed by the County Work Release Administrator, the inmate shall be asked to read and indicate his or her acceptance of the provisions of the Work Release Plan by signing it.
(h) The employer shall receive a copy of the approved Work Release Plan by certified mail, return receipt requested, along with a copy of the court's order placing the inmate in outside employment. The inmate shall also receive a copy of the Work Release Plan.
10A:31-25.11 Disbursement of wages
(a) An inmate participating in the Work Release Program shall submit his or her salary, wages or stipend, in the form that it is paid (cash or check), to the County Work Release Administrator who shall, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 30:4-91.4 and applicable provisions of related State statutes, make payments from these earnings for:
1. Money advances made to purchase or redeem work clothes, travel clothes and/or work tools;
2. The cost of work transportation and cash advanced for miscellaneous daily expenses while outside the adult county correctional facility;
3. Payment of cost for board which shall be charged for each day that the inmate is participating in the Work Release Program;
4. Court costs and fines;
5. Medical and dental fees;
6. Prescription or nonprescription drugs or medicine fees;
7. Legally ascertained support of dependents after written notice to the appropriate welfare board; and/or
8. Payment on debts and legal obligations acknowledged by the inmate in writing and filed with the County Work Release Administrator on such forms as the Administrator shall specify.
(b) Every effort shall be made to secure full payment of advances as soon as possible. Except in the most unusual situations, full repayment shall be obtained no later than the second full pay.
(c) Any balance of earnings remaining after payment of items in (a) above shall be retained as required by N.J.S.A. 30:8-49(4), and paid to the inmate when he or she is discharged.
(d) Each county shall develop a written system whereby each inmate participating in the Work Release Program shall pay a fair percentage of his or her earnings for board. The daily per capita rate for the payment of board shall not include any part of the costs arising from the administration of the Work Release Program.
10A:31-25.12 Statement of disbursements
(a) An inmate participating in the Work Release Program shall receive a statement on Form CWR-4, Statement of Disbursements, itemizing deductions made from each pay check within two weeks of the county's receipt of the paycheck.
(b) The statement shall report all income and expenses and accurately reflect the statement of the inmate's account for the period covered.
10A:31-25.13 Vocational Training Release Plan
(a) If the inmate applies and is approved for a vocational training release program, a detailed Vocational Training Release Plan (Form CWR--5 Vocational Training Release Plan) shall be prepared by the County Work Release Administrator. A copy of the Vocational Training Release Plan shall be sent to the inmate and a copy shall be sent to the training agency by certified mail, return receipt requested. The plan shall include the following:
1. The name and address of the training agency;
2. The location where training will take place;
3. The dates and times of leaving and returning to the adult county correctional facility;
4. The times of arrival and departure from the training site;
5. The mode of transportation; and
6. Other pertinent data including responsibility for payment of costs, such as transportation, meals, etc.
10A:31-25.14 Family Need Release Plan
(a) A detailed Family Need Release Plan (Form CWR-6 Family Need Release Plan) shall be prepared by the County Work Release Administrator with a copy to the inmate outlining the following:
1. The nature of need;
2. The location of where family need is to be served;
3. The dates and times of leaving and returning to the adult county correctional facility;
4. The times of arrival and departure from the family need site;
5. The mode of transportation; and
6. Other pertinent data including responsibility for paying costs, such as transportation, meals, etc.
10A:31-25.15 Notification to local municipal police departments and/or law enforcement agencies
(a) N.J.S.A. 30:4-91.3 requires that the local municipal police departments be notified by the adult county correctional facility Administrator or designee when the county intends to place an inmate in the respective municipality for the purpose of a visit, study, work or residence.
(b) The local municipal police departments and/or the law enforcement agency responsible for that jurisdiction shall be notified in writing whenever an inmate is being considered for placement into the work release, vocational training release or family care release phase of the Work Release Program.
10A:31-25.16 Custody status
Inmates approved for outside employment, family care or vocational training under a Work Release Program shall be classified as minimum custody and housed separately from other inmates serving terms in ordinary confinement, if possible.
(a) When the inmate has been accepted into the Work Release Program and the appropriate applications and plans have been completed, the County Work Release Administrator shall provide an orientation to the inmate.
(b) The orientation shall ensure that the inmate is made aware of and has a clear understanding of the rules, regulations and conditions governing the Work Release Program.
(c) The County Work Release Administrator or designee shall also ensure that the employer is made aware of the rules and regulations and of the employer's responsibilities concerning the Work Release Program.
(d) The County Work Release Administrator shall make periodic evaluations of the extent of family needs and of job and vocational training sites to ensure that the rules and regulations governing the Work Release Program are not being violated.
10A:31-25.18 Review of status and termination
(a) The County Work Release Administrator may hold the inmate in confinement pending judicial review of the inmate's status, when there is cause to believe that the inmate has:
1. Violated the rules of the Work Release Program; or
2. Been charged with the commission of an offense.
(b) The County Work Release Administrator shall submit a written report to the court which will include the reason(s) for holding the inmate in confinement and a request that the court review the inmate's status in the Program.
(c) The County Work Release Administrator shall implement the court's decision.
(d) No inmate may be removed from the Work Release Program without an order from the court authorizing such a removal.
(a) An inmate shall be deemed an escapee if the inmate:
1. Fails to return to the adult county correctional facility within the prescribed time or has not notified the facility within the one hour grace period that he or she is in the process of returning; or
2. Fails to notify the facility that he or she has been detained (that is, hospitalized, arrested, etc.); or
3. Fails to obtain authorization to leave his or her place of employment.
(b) If the inmate contacts the facility within the one hour grace period and is given a reasonable time limit within which to return to the facility but fails to do so, the inmate shall be declared an escapee if there are no extenuating circumstances or verified legitimate reasons for the inmate's failure to return within the time limit.
(c) In all cases of escape, the County Work Release Administrator shall arrange for immediate notice to the:
1. Adult county correctional facility Administrator;
2. Local police departments (and/or the law enforcement agencies responsible) in the municipality of the adult county correctional facility and in the municipality of the release site;
3. State police; and
4. Court that authorized the work release participation.
10A:31-25.20 Quarterly report
(a) The County Work Release Administrator shall be responsible for preparing a quarterly report (Form CWR-9 Quarterly Report of Work Release) which shall be submitted to the County Board of Freeholders and the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
(b) The quarterly report shall contain a general summary of Work Release Program information, which includes, but is not limited to:
1. The total number of participants in the Program;
2. The total number of admissions to the Program;
3. The total number of terminations from the Program;
4. The total number of revocations for violations of conditions; and
5. The total number of removals because of illness or death.
(c) The quarterly report shall also contain other statistical information on the Work Release Program and facts as may be requested by the governing body of the county or the County Board of Freeholders and the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
10A:31-25.21 Arrangements with other counties
(a) An inmate may be housed in another adult county correctional facility for the purposes of work release when the court, issuing the release placement order, authorizes the County Work Release Administrator to arrange with the County Work Release Administrator of another county for the employment of an inmate within that county.
(b) The inmate shall be in the custody of the other county and subject to the commitment and all applicable regulations while the inmate is participating in the Work Release Program.
(c) Agreements between cooperating counties shall include a statement of financial arrangements.
10A:31-25.22 Time credits
(a) Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:8-50, an inmate participant may be granted a reduction of not more than one-quarter of his or her term if the inmate's conduct, diligence and general attitude merit such reduction (see N.J.A.C. 10A:31-23.1).
(b) Form CWR-7 Diminution of Term shall be used to notify the appropriate person in the adult county correctional facility as to the number of days to be credited in reduction of an inmate's sentence.
Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law and litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures and handles criminal cases, Municipal Court, DWI, traffic and other litigation matters. He is Co Chair of the ABA Criminal Law Committee, GP and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends go to www.njlaws.com/ContactKenV.htm
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C,
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Edison, NJ 08817,