The Court continued in relevant part: Immediately prior to oral argument, J.K. brought to the Court’s attention Board Policy # 09.821, entitled “Offender Requests to Reside Outside of the United States of America,” which sets forth an avenue for review and approval of requests by certain parolees to relocate to a foreign jurisdiction while under continued Board supervision. The denial of J.K.’s application was not arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable. J.K.’s submissions to the Parole Board were inadequate to secure the relief sought. To the extent that J.K. has refined and updated his application, his recourse is before the Parole Board, which has the necessary expertise to assess the quality of his new submissions under its Policy # 09.821.
The Court first addresses whether the Board lacked statutory authority to adopt Policy # 09.821. The Parole Act of 1979 grants broad authority to the Board over parole supervision and specifically confers on the Board the authority to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations as may be necessary for the proper discharge of its responsibilities, which include imposing and altering specific conditions of parole. No statutory impediment denies the Board the ability to permit international relocation of a CSL parolee, while maintaining Board supervision. The Act’s explicit grant of authority to the Board allowing for transfers of supervision of a parolee to another state, see N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.59(c), does not limit the Board’s authority to impose and alter conditions of its own supervision of a CSL parolee who is permitted to reside out of state.
The Criminal Code similarly recognizes the broad authority of the Board and broadly permits the imposition and alteration of conditions as the Board sees fit to fulfill its supervisory responsibilities to protect the public and foster rehabilitation. The Court declines to interpret the statutory grant of authority to the Board as insufficient to permit the Board to allow international relocation while retaining its supervision of a parolee, as it chose to do through the adoption of Policy # 09.821. The Court further rejects the contention that the language in the statute converting CSL to Parole Supervision for Life (PSL) — according to which “persons serving a special sentence of community supervision shall be supervised as if on parole,” N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4(b) (2003) — prevents the Board from permitting an international transfer. That argument assumes that J.K. is seeking to terminate supervision, but J.K. has only asked to live in Poland while remaining under the supervision of the Board.
The Attorney General’s Office has likely been waiting for a case like this in order to challenge whether CSL parolees can ever relocate to another country. The case begs the question of how many foreign governments are unaware of American sex offenders living in their countries. Given America’s relatively sophisticating bureaucracy and criminal record-keeping, there is likely a greater percentage of foreign-citizen sex offenders who are living in America “under the radar” due to their home countries’ inadequate record-keeping and sharing.