N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.55a. Prior to the parole eligibility date of each adult inmate, a designated hearing officer shall review the reports required by section 10 of P.L.1979, c. 441 (C.30:4-123.54), and shall determine whether there is a basis for denial of parole in the preparole report, any risk assessment prepared in accordance with the provisions of subsection e. of section 8 of P.L.1979, c. 441 (C.30:4-123.52), or the inmate's statement, or an indication, reduced to writing, that additional information providing a basis for denial of parole would be developed or produced at a hearing. If the hearing officer determines that there is no basis in the preparole report, the risk assessment, or the inmate's statement for denial of parole and that there is no additional relevant information to be developed or produced at a hearing, he shall at least 60 days prior to the inmate's parole eligibility date recommend in writing to the assigned member of the board panel that parole release be granted.
b. If the assigned member of the board panel or in the case of an inmate sentenced to a county penal institution, the assigned member concurs in the hearing officer's recommendation, he shall certify parole release pursuant to section 15 of P.L.1979, c. 441 (C.30:4-123.59) as soon as practicable after the eligibility date and so notify the inmate and the board. In the case of an inmate sentenced to a county penal institution the board shall certify parole release or deny parole as provided by this section, except with regard to time periods for notice and parole processing which are authorized by or otherwise adopted pursuant to subsection g. of section 7 of P.L.1979, c. 441 (C.30:4-123.51). If the designated hearing officer does not recommend release on parole or if the assigned member does not concur in a recommendation of the designated hearing officer in favor of release, then the parole release of an inmate in a county penal institution shall be treated under the provisions of law otherwise applicable to an adult inmate. In the case of an inmate sentenced to a county penal institution, the performance of public service for the remainder of the term of the sentence shall be a required condition of parole, where appropriate.
c. If the hearing officer or the assigned member determines that there is a basis for denial of parole, or that a hearing is otherwise necessary, the hearing officer or assigned member shall notify the appropriate board panel and the inmate in writing of his determination, and of a date for a parole consideration hearing. The board panel shall notify the victim of the crime, if the crime for which the inmate is incarcerated was a crime of the first or second degree, or the victim's nearest relative if the crime was murder, as appropriate, who was previously contacted by the board and who has indicated his intention to the board to testify at the hearing, of the opportunity to testify or submit written or videotaped statements at the hearing. Said hearing shall be conducted by the appropriate board panel at least 30 days prior to the eligibility date. At the hearing, which shall be informal, the board panel shall receive as evidence any relevant and reliable documents or videotaped or in person testimony, including that of the victim of the crime or the members of the family of a murder victim if the victim or a family member so desires. If a victim of a crime or the relative of a murder victim chooses not to testify personally at the hearing, the victim or relative may elect to present testimony to a senior hearing officer designated by the board panel. The senior hearing officer shall notify the victim of the right to have this testimony videotaped. The senior hearing officer shall prepare a report, transcript or videotape, if applicable, of the testimony for presentation to the board panel at the hearing. All such evidence not classified as confidential pursuant to rules and regulations of the board or the Department of Corrections shall be disclosed to the inmate and the inmate shall be permitted to rebut such evidence and to present evidence on his own behalf. The decision of the board panel shall be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing.
d. At the conclusion of the parole consideration hearing, the board panel shall either (1) certify the parole release of the inmate pursuant to section 15 of this act as soon as practicable after the eligibility date and so notify the inmate and the board, or (2) deny parole and file with the board within 30 days of the hearing a statement setting forth the decision, the particular reasons therefor, except information classified as confidential pursuant to rules and regulations of the board or the Department of Corrections, a copy of which statement shall be served upon the inmate together with notice of his right to appeal to the board.
e. Upon request by the hearing officer or the inmate, the time limitations contained in section 10 of P.L.1979, c. 441 (C.30:4-123.54) and this section may be waived by the appropriate board panel for good cause.
f. Notwithstanding the provision of any other law to the contrary, if an inmate incarcerated for murder is recommended for parole by the assigned board member or the appropriate board panel, parole shall not be certified until a majority of the full parole board, after conducting a hearing, concurs in that recommendation. The board shall notify the victim's family of that hearing and family members shall be afforded the opportunity to testify in person or to submit written or videotaped statements. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to an inmate who has his parole revoked and is returned to custody pursuant to the provisions of section 19 of P.L.1979, c. 441 (C.30:4-123.63).
g. Notwithstanding the provision of any other law or regulation to the contrary, the board may promulgate rules and regulations for the processing of any inmate whose parole eligibility date is accelerated. For purposes of this section, a parole eligibility date is accelerated when an inmate becomes eligible for parole at the time of or within 120 days of an event or circumstance beyond the control of the parole board, such as sentencing, resentencing or other amendment, including the awarding of additional credit to the original sentence, restoration of authorized institutional time credits or the application of authorized institutional time credits on a future eligibility date established pursuant to subsection a. of section 12 of P.L.1979, c. 441 (C.30:4-123.56) or subsection a. of section 20 of P.L.1979, c. 441 (C.30:4-123.64). The rules and regulations shall provide for the preparation and review of a preparole report and shall require that a parole consideration hearing be held not more than 120 days after the board has received notice that an accelerated parole eligibility date has been established.