Q: What are Assessment Centers?
A: The New Jersey Administrative Code defines "Assessment and Treatment Center" as a Residential Community Release Program that provides eligible inmates with a comprehensive assessment of their needs and risks, an orientation to a treatment regimen, and a referral to a work release house, Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program, or Mutual Agreement Program. All inmates must remain at the Assessment Center for approximately 30-60 days.
Q: How is an inmate selected for a Residential Community Release Program (RCRP)?
A: In order for an inmate to participate in a RCRP, the following steps are necessary:
- The inmate must fill out a Community Release application; this can be obtained from the Community Release Coordinator (CRC) at the institution;
- the application must be submitted to the CRC;
- a classification committee will be scheduled to determine if the inmate is eligible and appropriate for Community Release (CR); if approved for CR, the CRC will forward the approved application and all other required paperwork to the Office of Community Programs (OCP); and
- the OCP will conduct a final review of the inmate's application and determine the most appropriate initial placement for the male inmate. Male inmates will be assigned to one of two Assessment and Treatment centers. All female inmates will be assigned to the Bo Robinson Assessment and Treatment Center, where they will receive further assessment and treatment.
Q: Are RCRP inmates allowed visitation from the outside?
A: All inmates are allowed visitation at a specific time of their stay at the RCRP. Please see the visitation rules, regulations and allotted times and days, under the RCRP information page.
Q: What are some of the services provided by the RCRPs?
A: Some of the services offered by the RCRPs may include:
- Substance Use Treatment
- Domestic Violence Counseling/Education
- Parenting Education
- GED Preparation
- Workplace Literacy
- Workplace Readiness
- Anger Management
- Relapse Prevention
- Smoking Cessation
Q: What responsibilities does the RCRP inmate have?
A: The inmate must:
- Adhere to all program guidelines
- Complete all phases of the program
- Participate in educational and/or vocational programs, as required
- Remain drug free
- Perform Community Service
- Submit to random urine monitoring
- If employed, make payment for:
o Maintenance fees
o All federal and state taxes
o Fines, penalties and restitutions
o Child Support (if applicable)
Q: How does an agency obtain a contract with the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC)?
A: Contracts are awarded through the competitive bid process. To be added to the bidder's list, you may write to Marcus O. Hicks, Esq., Assistant Director of Office of Community Programs and Outreach Services (see OCP Contact Information page). Only non-profit agencies, with five or more years experience in the correctional field and who currently have or will have a licensed facility prior to receiving a contract, will be considered.
Q: How does the NJDOC ensure the safety of the community?
A: The NJDOC ensures that all offenders assigned to RCRPs are assessed and supervised at a level necessary to protect the community. The NJDOC utilizes a performance-based evaluation process that objectively assesses and evaluates community programs and operations, including outcome studies that provide quantifiable data on program effectiveness. The NJDOC remains abreast of "Best Practice" changes to ensure optimal rehabilitation and public safety. The RCRPs have strict accountability procedures to enable them to know where inmates are at all times. All inmates must sign in and out of the RCRP. They must have an approved site if they are out in the community, where they can be contacted at all times.
Q: How long is the process to transfer to a RCRP after a RCRP application has been completed by the inmate?
A: After the application is received by the Office of Community Programs, it takes approximately 3-6 months before the inmate is placed in a RCRP. Please note that inmates are not necessarily assigned community placement in order of approval; there are numerous factors that determine when an individual will be placed in the community. All questions regarding Community Placement should be directed to the Institutional Community Release Coordinator.
Q: When will the inmate be eligible to work or attend school in the community?
A: There are several different types of Community Programs, and the length of time that an inmate may have to wait to participate in work or school activities is unique at each program. This information can be obtained from the RCRP during orientation.
Q: Can inmates receive their GED while at a RCRP?
A: Yes, it is possible to receive a GED while at one of the RCRPs. Most of the RCRPs provide GED classes to prepare for the test and can provide guidance in applying for the test.
Q: What recourse is available to a RCRP inmate or the inmate's family if they feel that they have been unable to resolve a major concern at the RCRP?
A: Please be advised that each inmate is provided with an orientation to the RCRP and an inmate handbook to provide guidance in the proper protocols for the resolution of problems and/or issues.
Once a RCRP inmate has exhausted ALL other avenues for remedy, they or their family may contact the Department of the Public Advocate, at (609) 292-8020, or (609) 633-2596. They may also write to the:
Department of the Public Advocate
Post Office Box 855
Trenton, NJ 08625
Further information is also available at: www.state.nj.us/publicadvocate/citizens/guardinginmatesrights.html