Parole Conditions (Part 2)

by | Mar 20, 2024 | Blog, Criminal Law, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

The New Jersey Supreme Court continued in relevant part: The Parole Board cannot mandate participation in an RTP for inmates administratively paroled under the EYWO Act. Although N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.59 generally authorizes the Parole Board to impose parole conditions on adult inmates who have been administratively released under the EYWO Act, an RTP is not among the conditions that can be imposed in that setting.

N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.53(a) details the process for release under the Parole Act. Under that provision, the Parole Board retains substantial discretion to deny parole if it finds the State makes a showing of lack of cooperation or a reasonable expectation of a future violation of parole conditions imposed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.59. The process governing release under the EYWO Act, which took effect on February 1, 2021, is different. “Administrative parole release” means the release of an adult inmate who has met the criteria set forth in N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.55d(a). In this streamlined parole process, parole-eligible inmates who satisfy the criteria must automatically be released by the Board. According to a press release, the EYWO Act “places a greater focus on reentry, allowing us to reduce recidivism and improve individuals’ ability to integrate back into their communities.” Like the Parole Act release provision, N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.55d(b) authorizes the imposition of parole conditions via reference to the entirety of N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.59.

N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.59, which governs the imposition of parole conditions, has multiple subsections. Subsection (b)(1)(a) lists various mandatory and discretionary parole conditions. The Parole Board relies on the part of subsection (b)(1)(a) devoted to discretionary conditions as its sole authority to impose an RTP on Williams. That part is a non-exhaustive list stating that the Board member or panel certifying release “may impose any other specific conditions of parole deemed reasonable in order to reduce the likelihood of recurrence of criminal or delinquent behavior, including a requirement that the parolee comply with the Internet access conditions,” and “such special conditions may include, among other things, a requirement that the parolee make full or partial restitution”; “that the parolee have no contact with the victim”; and “that the person shall not own or possess an animal for an unlawful purpose or to interfere in the performance of duties by a parole officer.” Although RTPs are not among the conditions mentioned in subsection (b)(1)(a) of N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.59, they are directly addressed in subsection (d) of that statute, which provides that the Board “may parole an inmate to any residential facility funded in whole or in part by the State if the inmate would not otherwise be released pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.53 without such placement.”

In mates subject to the parole process do not enjoy the protections of criminal defendants. The principal reason is that parolees have already been convicted while defendants are presumed to be not guilty.