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N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1

2C:7-1. Findings, declarations

1. The Legislature finds and declares:

a. The danger of recidivism posed by sex offenders and offenders who commit other predatory acts against children, and the dangers posed by persons who prey on others as a result of mental illness, require a system of registration that will permit law enforcement officials to identify and alert the public when necessary for the public safety.

b. A system of registration of sex offenders and offenders who commit other predatory acts against children will provide law enforcement with additional information critical to preventing and promptly resolving incidents involving sexual abuse and missing persons.

L.1994,c.133,s.1.

2C:7-2. Registration of sex offender; definition

2. a. A person who has been convicted, adjudicated delinquent or found not guilty by reason of insanity for commission of a sex offense as defined in subsection b. of this section shall register as provided in subsections c. and d. of this section. A person who fails to register as required under this act shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

b. For the purposes of this act a sex offense shall include the following:

(1) Aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, kidnapping pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:13-1 or an attempt to commit any of these crimes if the court found that the offender's conduct was characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior, regardless of the date of the commission of the offense or the date of conviction;

(2) A conviction, adjudication of delinquency, or acquittal by reason of insanity for aggravated sexual assault; sexual assault; aggravated criminal sexual contact; kidnapping pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:13-1; endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child pursuant to subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:24-4; endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4; luring or enticing pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1993, c.291 (C.2C:13-6); criminal sexual contact pursuant to N.J.S.2C:14-3b. if the victim is a minor; kidnapping pursuant to N.J.S.2C:13-1, criminal restraint pursuant to N.J.S.2C:13-2, or false imprisonment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:13-3 if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim; or an attempt to commit any of these enumerated offenses if the conviction, adjudication of delinquency or acquittal by reason of insanity is entered on or after the effective date of this act or the offender is serving a sentence of incarceration, probation, parole or other form of community supervision as a result of the offense or is confined following acquittal by reason of insanity or as a result of civil commitment on the effective date of this act;

(3) A conviction, adjudication of delinquency or acquittal by reason of insanity for an offense similar to any offense enumerated in paragraph (2) or a sentence on the basis of criteria similar to the criteria set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection entered or imposed under the laws of the United States, this State or another state.

c. A person required to register under the provisions of this act shall do so on forms to be provided by the designated registering agency as follows:

(1) A person who is required to register and who is under supervision in the community on probation, parole, furlough, work release, or a similar program, shall register at the time the person is placed under supervision or no later than 120 days after the effective date of this act, whichever is later, in accordance with procedures established by the Department of Corrections, the Department of Human Services, the Juvenile Justice Commission established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-170) or the Administrative Office of the Courts, whichever is responsible for supervision;

(2) A person confined in a correctional or juvenile facility or involuntarily committed who is required to register shall register prior to release in accordance with procedures established by the Department of Corrections, the Department of Human Services or the Juvenile Justice Commission;

(3) A person moving to or returning to this State from another jurisdiction shall register with the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the person will reside or, if the municipality does not have a local police force, the Superintendent of State Police within 120 days of the effective date of this act or 70 days of first residing in or returning to a municipality in this State, whichever is later;

(4) A person required to register on the basis of a conviction prior to the effective date who is not confined or under supervision on the effective date of this act shall register within 120 days of the effective date of this act with the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the person will reside or, if the municipality does not have a local police force, the Superintendent of State Police.

d. Upon a change of address, a person shall notify the law enforcement agency with which the person is registered and must re-register with the appropriate law enforcement agency no less than 10 days before he intends to first reside at his new address.

e. A person required to register under paragraph (1) of subsection b. of this section or under paragraph (3) of subsection b. due to a sentence imposed on the basis of criteria similar to the criteria set forth in paragraph (1) of subsection b. shall verify his address with the appropriate law enforcement agency every 90 days in a manner prescribed by the Attorney General. A person required to register under paragraph (2) of subsection b. of this section or under paragraph (3) of subsection b. on the basis of a conviction for an offense similar to an offense enumerated in paragraph (2) of subsection b. shall verify his address annually in a manner prescribed by the Attorney General. One year after the effective date of this act, the Attorney General shall review, evaluate and, if warranted, modify pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) the verification requirement.

f. A person required to register under this act may make application to the Superior Court of this State to terminate the obligation upon proof that the person has not committed an offense within 15 years following conviction or release from a correctional facility for any term of imprisonment imposed, whichever is later, and is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others.

L.1994,c.133,s.2; amended 1995,c.280,s.18.

2C:7-3. Notice of obligation to register

3. Notice of the obligation to register shall be provided as follows:

(1) A court imposing a sentence, disposition or order of commitment following acquittal by reason of insanity shall notify the defendant of the obligation to register pursuant to section 2 of this act.

(2) The Department of Corrections, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Juvenile Justice Commission established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-170) and the Department of Human Services shall (a) establish procedures for notifying persons under their supervision of the obligation to register pursuant to this act and (b) establish procedures for registration by persons with the appropriate law enforcement agency who are under supervision in the community on probation, parole, furlough, work release or similar program outside the facility, and registration with the appropriate law enforcement agency of persons who are released from the facility in which they are confined without supervision.

(3) The Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall provide notice of the obligation to register pursuant to this section in connection with each application for a license to operate a motor vehicle and each application for an identification card issued pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1980, c.47 (C.39:3-29.3).

(4) The Attorney General shall cause notice of the obligation to register to be published in a manner reasonably calculated to reach the general public within 30 days of the effective date of this act.

L.1994,c.133,s.3; amended 1995,c.280,s.19.

2C:7-4. Forms of registration

4. a. Within 60 days of the effective date of this act, the Superintendent of State Police, with the approval of the Attorney General, shall prepare the form of registration statement as required in subsection b. of this section and shall provide such forms to each organized full-time municipal police department, the Department of Corrections, the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Department of Human Services. In addition, the Superintendent of State Police shall make such forms available to the Juvenile Justice Commission established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-170).

b. The form of registration required by this act shall include:

(1) A statement in writing signed by the person required to register acknowledging that the person has been advised of the duty to register and reregister imposed by this act and including the person's name, social security number, age, race, sex, date of birth, height, weight, hair and eye color, address of legal residence, address of any current temporary residence, date and place of employment;

(2) Date and place of each conviction, adjudication or acquittal by reason of insanity, indictment number, fingerprints, and a brief description of the crime or crimes for which registration is required; and

(3) Any other information that the Attorney General deems necessary to assess risk of future commission of a crime, including criminal and corrections records, nonprivileged personnel, treatment, and abuse registry records, and evidentiary genetic markers when available. 2C:7-4. Forms of registration 4. a. Within 60 days of the effective date of this act, the Superintendent of State Police, with the approval of the Attorney General, shall prepare the form of registration statement as required in subsection b. of this section and shall provide such forms to each organized full-time municipal police department, the Department of Corrections, the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Department of Human Services. In addition, the Superintendent of State Police shall make such forms available to the Juvenile Justice Commission established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-170).

b. The form of registration required by this act shall include:

(1) A statement in writing signed by the person required to register acknowledging that the person has been advised of the duty to register and reregister imposed by this act and including the person's name, social security number, age, race, sex, date of birth, height, weight, hair and eye color, address of legal residence, address of any current temporary residence, date and place of employment;

(2) Date and place of each conviction, adjudication or acquittal by reason of insanity, indictment number, fingerprints, and a brief description of the crime or crimes for which registration is required; and

(3) Any other information that the Attorney General deems necessary to assess risk of future commission of a crime, including criminal and corrections records, nonprivileged personnel, treatment, and abuse registry records, and evidentiary genetic markers when available.

c. Within three days of receipt of a registration pursuant to subsection c. of section 2 of this act, the registering agency shall forward the statement and any other required information to the prosecutor who shall, as soon as practicable, transmit the form of registration to the Superintendent of State Police, and, if the registrant will reside in a different county, to the prosecutor of the county in which the person will reside. The prosecutor of the county in which the person will reside shall transmit the form of registration to the law enforcement agency responsible for the municipality in which the person will reside and other appropriate law enforcement agencies. The superintendent shall promptly transmit the conviction data and fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

d. The Superintendent of State Police shall maintain a central registry of registrations provided pursuant to this act.

L.1994,c.133,s.4; amended 1995,c.280,s.20.

2C:7-5. Records; immunity

5. a. Records maintained pursuant to this act shall be open to any law enforcement agency in this State, the United States or any other state. Law enforcement agencies in this State shall be authorized to release relevant and necessary information regarding sex offenders to the public when the release of the information is necessary for public protection in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1994, c.128 (C.2C:7-6 et seq.).

b. An elected public official, public employee, or public agency is immune from civil liability for damages for any discretionary decision to release relevant and necessary information, unless it is shown that the official, employee, or agency acted with gross negligence or in bad faith. The immunity provided under this section applies to the release of relevant information to other employees or officials or to the general public.

c. Nothing in this act shall be deemed to impose any liability upon or to give rise to a cause of action against any public official, public employee, or public agency for failing to release information as authorized in subsection d. of this section.

d. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent law enforcement officers from notifying members of the public exposed to danger of any persons that pose a danger under circumstances that are not enumerated in this act.

L.1994,c.133,s.5.

2C:7-6. Community notified of release of sex offender

1. Within 45 days after receiving notification pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1994, c.135 (C.30:4-123.53a et seq.) that an inmate convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for a sex offense as defined in section 2 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-1 et al.) is to be released from incarceration and after receipt of registration as required therein, the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality where the inmate intends to reside shall provide notification in accordance with the provisions of section 3 of this act of that inmate's release to the community. If the municipality does not have a police force, the Superintendent of State Police shall provide notification.

L.1994,c.128,s.1.

2C:7-7. Notification of community to which sex offender moves

2. After receipt of notification and registration pursuant to P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-1 et al.) that a person required to register pursuant to that act intends to change his address, the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality to which the person is relocating shall provide notification of that relocation to the community pursuant to section 3 of this act. If the municipality does not have a police force, the Superintendent of State Police shall provide notification.

L.1994,c.128,s.2.

2C:7-8. Guidelines, procedures for notification

3. a. After consultation with members of the advisory council established pursuant to section 6 of this act and within 60 days of the effective date, the Attorney General shall promulgate guidelines and procedures for the notification required pursuant to the provisions of this act. The guidelines shall identify factors relevant to risk of re-offense and shall provide for three levels of notification depending upon the degree of the risk of re-offense.

b. Factors relevant to risk of re-offense shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Conditions of release that minimize risk of re-offense, including but not limited to whether the offender is under supervision of probation or parole; receiving counseling, therapy or treatment; or residing in a home situation that provides guidance and supervision;

(2) Physical conditions that minimize risk of re-offense, including but not limited to advanced age or debilitating illness;

(3) Criminal history factors indicative of high risk of re-offense, including:

(a) Whether the offender's conduct was found to be characterized by repetitive and compulsive behavior;

(b) Whether the offender served the maximum term;

(c) Whether the offender committed the sex offense against a child;

(4) Other criminal history factors to be considered in determining risk, including:

(a) The relationship between the offender and the victim;

(b) Whether the offense involved the use of a weapon, violence, or infliction of serious bodily injury;

(c) The number, date and nature of prior offenses;

(5) Whether psychological or psychiatric profiles indicate a risk of recidivism;

(6) The offender's response to treatment;

(7) Recent behavior, including behavior while confined or while under supervision in the community as well as behavior in the community following service of sentence; and

(8) Recent threats against persons or expressions of intent to commit additional crimes.

c. The regulations shall provide for three levels of notification depending upon the risk of re-offense by the offender as follows:

(1) If risk of re-offense is low, law enforcement agencies likely to encounter the person registered shall be notified;

(2) If risk of re-offense is moderate, organizations in the community including schools, religious and youth organizations shall be notified in accordance with the Attorney General's guidelines, in addition to the notice required by paragraph (1) of this subsection;

(3) If risk of re-offense is high, the public shall be notified through means in accordance with the Attorney General's guidelines designed to reach members of the public likely to encounter the person registered, in addition to the notice required by paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection.

d. In order to promote uniform application of the notification guidelines required by this section, the Attorney General shall develop procedures for evaluation of the risk of re-offense and implementation of community notification. These procedures shall require, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) The county prosecutor of the county where the person was convicted and the county prosecutor of the county where the registered person will reside, together with any law enforcement officials that either deems appropriate, shall assess the risk of re-offense by the registered person;

(2) The county prosecutor of the county in which the registered person will reside, after consultation with local law enforcement officials, shall determine the means of providing notification.

e. The Attorney General's guidelines shall provide for the manner in which records of notification provided pursuant to this act shall be maintained and disclosed.

L.1994,c.128,s.3.

2C:7-9. Notification immunity

4. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any person who provides or fails to provide information relevant to the procedures set forth in this act shall not be liable in any civil or criminal action. Nothing herein shall be deemed to grant any such immunity to any person for his willful or wanton act of commission or omission.

L.1994,c.128,s.4.

2C:7-10. Other notification not limited by act 5. Nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent law enforcement officers from providing community notification concerning any person who poses a danger under circumstances that are not provided for in this act.

L.1994,c.128,s.5.

2C:7-11. Notification advisory council established; review of guidelines

6. A notification advisory council is established to consult with and provide recommendations to the Attorney General concerning the guidelines to be promulgated pursuant to section 3 of this act. The council shall consist of 12 persons who, by experience or training, have a personal interest or professional expertise in law enforcement, crime prevention, victim advocacy, criminology, psychology, parole, public education or community relations. The members of the council shall be appointed in the following manner: four shall be appointed by the Governor, of whom no more than two shall be of the same political party; four shall be appointed by the President of the Senate, of whom no more than two shall be of the same political party; and four shall be appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly, of whom no more than two shall be of the same political party. Any vacancies occurring in the membership shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.

One year after the effective date of this act, the Attorney General and the council shall conduct a comprehensive review of the guidelines to determine whether any changes or revisions should be promulgated. Upon completion of that review and the submission of any recommendations thereon, the council shall expire.

L.1994,c.128,s.6.