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30:4-92.2 Program Of Mandatory Education.

2. a. The Commissioner of Corrections, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education, shall establish a program of mandatory education in each State correctional facility under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections for each inmate who fails to attain a minimal educational standard.

b.The minimal educational standard set forth in subsection a. of this section shall be the attainment of a high school equivalency certificate or high school diploma.

c.Consistent with the phase-in schedule adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection h. of this section, the requirement of attaining a minimal educational standard shall apply to an inmate who:

(1)is in the custody of the Department of Corrections on and after the effective date of P.L.2009, c.330 (C.30:4-92.1 et al.);

(2)has 18 months or more remaining to be served before a mandatory release date;

(3)is not exempted due to a medical, developmental, or learning disability; and

(4)does not possess a high school equivalency certificate or high school diploma.

d.The mandatory education requirement may be deferred for an inmate who is serving a sentence exceeding 10 years.

e.An inmate who satisfactorily participates in the mandatory education program shall be eligible for commutation time for good behavior pursuant to R.S.30:4-140 or credits for diligent application to work and other institutional assignments pursuant to R.S.30:4-92.

f.The commissioner shall report to the State Parole Board the academic progress of an inmate participating in the mandatory education program.

g.The commissioner may utilize digital technology and on-line education methods to meet the mandatory education requirement established by this section provided these alternate methods are documented to be as effective with inmate populations as live instruction.

h.The commissioner shall establish a schedule for the incremental implementation of the minimal educational standard required by this section. As hereinafter provided, the schedule shall consist of five foundation stages and shall provide for the full implementation of the minimal educational standard within five years of the effective date of this act.

(1)Stage One: The Prisoner Reentry Commission, established pursuant to section 10 of P.L.2009, c.329 (C.30:4-6.2), shall prepare a report outlining and assessing the availability of innovative technology, volunteer services and private sector resources the Department of Corrections may utilize to support and enhance in-prison education programs. In preparing this report, the commission, in consultation with the Department of Corrections and the Department of Education, shall prepare an inventory of the in-house educational programs currently available to inmates, the curricula for those programs, and the educational materials utilized. The report shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Corrections and the Commissioner of Education, along with any recommendations the commission may have, not later than the first day of the 12th month following the effective date of P.L.2009, c.330 (C.30:4-92.1 et al.).

(2)Stage Two: Beginning in the 13th month following the effective date of P.L.2009, c.330 (C.30:4-92.1 et al.), the commissioner shall initiate a program designed to raise the literacy level of inmates scheduled for release within three years to a ninth grade level. The program shall utilize, to the greatest extent feasible, available technology, volunteer services and private sector resources.

(3)Stage Three: Beginning in the 25th month following the effective date of P.L.2009, c.330 (C.30:4-92.1 et al.), the commissioner shall initiate a program designed to raise the literacy level of inmates scheduled to be released within 10 years to a ninth grade level. The program shall utilize, to the greatest extent feasible, available technology, volunteer services and private sector resources.

(4)Stage Four: Beginning in the 48th month following the effective date of P.L.2009, c.330 (C.30:4-92.1 et al.), the commissioner shall initiate a program designed to raise the literacy level of inmates scheduled to be released within 10 years to a 12th grade level. The program shall utilize, to the greatest extent feasible, available technology, volunteer services and private sector resources.

(5)Stage Five: Beginning in the 60th month following the effective date of P.L.2009, c.330 (C.30:4-92.1 et al.), the commissioner shall initiate a program designed to raise the literacy level of all inmates to a 12th grade level. The program shall utilize, to the greatest extent feasible, available technology, volunteer services and private sector resources.

i.The commissioner, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education, shall promulgate, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) the rules and regulations that are necessary to implement the provisions of P.L.2009, c.330 (C.30:4-92.1 et al.). These rules and regulations shall include, but not be limited to, provisions to:

(1)determine when an inmate shall be exempted from the mandatory education program due to a medical, developmental, or learning disability as authorized under paragraph (3) of subsection c. of this section;

(2)authorize these exempted inmates to voluntarily participate in the mandatory education program; and

(3)offer and encourage these exempted inmates who possess the capability to participate in an alternate educational program.

L.2009, c.330, s.2.

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Local Government
New Jersey
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Phil Murphy
Phil Murphy
January 16, 2018 -
Democratic
1-609-292-6000
125 West State Street, Trenton, NJ, 08625

Keywords
education
inmate
mandatory
inmates
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literacy