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  OPRA- GENERAL INFORMATION

In accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A et seq., (commonly known as the Open Public Records Act or OPRA) members of the public may seek access to government records that are made or maintained by the Department of Corrections (DOC). The DOC shall provide public access to non- exempt government records made or maintained by the Department, in accordance with applicable statutory and regulatory provisions. OPRA requests must be submitted in writing to the DOC on the Government Records Request Form. The form is available at correctional facilities, at the Department of Corrections' Central Office, and on the DOC web site at www.state.nj.us/corrections.
You may contact the Record Custodian for the Department of Corrections by telephone at 609-777-2768, or by e-mail at OPRA-RecordCustodian@doc.nj.gov.
After you have provided the information required on the form, you may hand- deliver or mail the form (electronic mail is acceptable) to the DOC Record Custodian at P.O. Box 863, Whittlesey Road, Trenton, NJ 08625. Any member of the public who arrives at the DOC Central office to inspect a government record or hand-deliver a Government Records Request Form must initially report to the on-grounds Security Unit. You will be directed from there to the Record Custodian.

The DOC will make reading rooms available for inspection of records by the public. Reading room hours will be from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on regular business days. In order to inspect a government record, you must first complete a Government Records Request Form. After the form is received by the DOC Record Custodian, you will be contacted and advised of the reading room location for the record you wish to inspect. Reading rooms will be maintained at most correctional facilities and at the DOC Central Offices.

OPRA- ADMINISTRATIVE CODE RGULATIONS

The following provisions are included in the Department of Corrections' proposed rules for implementing the Open Public Records Act. The entire proposal is available on the DOC web site, and has been published in the July 1, 2002 New Jersey Register.

"Government record" or "record" means any paper, written or printed book, document, drawing, map, plan, photograph, microfilm, data processed or image processed document, information stored or maintained electronically or by sound-recording or in a similar device, or any copy thereof, that has been made, maintained or kept on file in the course of official business by any officer, commission, agency or authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof, including subordinate boards thereof, or that has been received in the course of official business by any such officer, commission, agency, or authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof, including subordinate boards thereof. The terms shall not include inter-agency or intra-agency advisory, consultative, or deliberative material. A government record shall not include information, which is deemed to be confidential in accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.

(a) The following form related to a request for a government record shall be obtained from the Department of Corrections record custodian, the Department of Corrections web site at www.state.nj.us/corrections, and at correctional facilities:
1. Form 110 Department of Corrections Request for Government Records
(The Government Records Request Form is available on the DOC OPRA web site.)

Pursuant to P.L. 2001, c. 404, the Commissioner shall designate a custodian of records, who shall be responsible for requests to the Department of Corrections for access to government records.
The address and other contact information for the record custodian shall be posted on the Department of Corrections web site at www.state.nj.us/corrections and otherwise made available to the public. The contact information is as follows:
Department of Corrections Record Custodian
Office of Policy and Planning, Cubberly Building
P.O. Box 863
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0863

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-2.2, a person convicted of any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States shall be denied access to a government record if the record contains personal information pertaining to the person's victim(s) or family member(s) of a victim(s)
An exception to (a) above may be made only if a court, upon motion by the requester or his or her representative, has determined that the information is necessary to assist in the defense of the requester.

All requests for access to government records pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq., as amended and supplemented, held or controlled by the Department of Corrections, shall be in writing on a form approved by the Department. For the purposes of this chapter, access means inspection, examination or copying.
The requester shall be asked to provide the following information on the Form 110 Department of Corrections Request for Government Records:
1. The name, address, and telephone number of the requester;
2. A description of the government record sought, method of access and if copies are sought, the medium requested and mode of delivery;
3. The date submitted to the Department record custodian; and
4. A certification by the requester that they have not been convicted of an indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state, or the United States.
(c) The request form shall also include an identified space for:
1. The custodian to indicate whether the request is granted or denied;
2. Specific directions and procedures for requesting a record;
3. A statement that prepayment of fees is required and the fees to be charged;
4. The time period within which the Department is required to make the record available;
5. The custodian to sign and date the form;
6. A statement of the requester's right to challenge a decision by the custodian to deny access;
7. The reasons for a denial of a request, in whole or in part;
8. The procedures for challenging a denial of access;
9. The custodian to indicate whether the requester has agreed to grant an extension of time; and
10. The toll free number of the Government Records Council.
(d) Copies of the request Form 110 shall be available at the office of the Department custodian, all correctional facilities and on the Department web site at www.state.nj.us/corrections.

Request Form 110 shall be hand-delivered, mailed, or transmitted electronically by e-mail by the requester to the Department of Corrections custodian of records. Hand-delivery of Form 110 shall be during normal business hours of the Department of Corrections.
Any officer or employee of the Department who receives a request for access to a government record shall direct the requester to the Department of Corrections record custodian.
Upon receipt of the request form, the custodian shall review the request form for clarity and completeness. If the request form is unclear as to the government record requested, the custodian shall advise the requester of the deficiency, provided contact information is included on the form. The custodian may require the requester to provide additional information to identify the record or to ascertain the requester's identity and status to determine whether access is authorized. The custodian shall deny a request for access if the request is unclear or incomplete after attempting to reach a reasonable resolution with the requester. A request shall not be deemed complete until the pre-payment required under this section is received by the Department.
All inquiries and processes involving the request shall include a tracking number.
Upon receipt of a request form, the custodian shall estimate the cost of providing the records and shall require the pre-payment of the estimated sum, and of any special mailing or delivery costs. Payment shall be made by certified check or money order payable to the State of New Jersey. Except as provided otherwise by law or regulation, costs shall be those set forth in N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq., as amended and supplemented.
The custodian shall sign and date Form 110, enter the estimated fee, tracking number, and provide the requester with a copy.
No fee shall be required for inspecting or examining government records.
Upon request, the custodian may allow requesters to use their own photocopying equipment to copy government records, provided that it will not disrupt the business operations of the Department and will not endanger the government records. No special fee shall be charged to a requester who utilizes his or her own equipment.

Immediate access ordinarily shall be granted for requests to inspect, examine or copy budgets, bills, vouchers, contracts, including collective negotiations agreements and individual employment contracts, and public employee salary and overtime information.

Except as provided in this subchapter, a custodian shall grant or deny access within seven business days after receiving a request completed and received in accordance with N.J.A.C. 10A:22-2.2 and 2.3 or such additional time as may be allowed by law or these rules or as may be agreed to by the requester. The failure to grant access shall be deemed a denial of the request, unless the requester has elected not to provide a name, address, telephone number or other means of contact. If the requester has elected not to provide contact information, the custodian shall not be required to respond until seven business days after the requester reappears before the custodian seeking a response to the original request.

If the requested record is in storage offsite at a facility outside of the regular business office of the Department, the custodian shall so advise the requester within seven business days after the custodian receives the request. The custodian shall advise the requester of the date when the record will be made available. If the record is not made available by the identified date, the request shall be deemed denied.
Unless otherwise specifically requested, copies of records shall be provided in printed form on ordinary business size paper. The requester may request that the Department provide a copy of a record in a specific medium. If the Department maintains the government record in the medium requested, the custodian shall provide the record in the medium sought.
If the Department does not maintain the government record in the medium requested, the custodian shall convert the record to the medium requested if reasonable or provide a copy in some other meaningful medium. If a requester asks for copies of a record in a medium not routinely used by the Department, not routinely developed or maintained by the Department, or requiring a substantial amount of manipulation or programming of information technology, the custodian may charge, in addition to the actual cost of duplication, a special charge which shall be reasonable and shall be based upon the cost of any extensive use of information technology or for the labor cost of providing the service actually incurred. The requester shall be given the opportunity to review and object to the charge prior to its being incurred. If the requester objects to the charge and refuses to withdraw the request, the custodian may deny the request after attempting to reach a reasonable solution that accommodates the interests of the requester and the Department.
Whenever the nature, format, manner of collation, or volume of a government record embodied in the form of printed matter to be inspected, examined or copied is such that the record cannot be reproduced by ordinary document copying equipment in ordinary business size paper or involves an extraordinary expenditure of time and effort to accommodate the request, the Department may charge, in addition to the actual cost of duplicating the record, a special service charge that shall be reasonable and shall be based upon the actual direct cost of providing the copy or copies. The requester shall have the opportunity to review and object to the charge prior to its being incurred. If the requester objects to the charge and refuses to withdraw the request, the custodian may deny the request after attempting to reach a reasonable solution that accommodates the interests of the requester and the Department.

In computing any period of time under P. L. 2001, c. 404 or these rules, the business day a completed request for access is received is not to be included. The last business day of the period so computed is to be included.
For purposes of P. L. 2001, c. 404 and these rules, a request for access is deemed to be complete when the requester provides information as required by N.J.A.C. 10A:22-2.2 and 2.3 and pre-pays the fees required by P.L. 2001, c. 404 and these rules.

In addition to records designated as confidential pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq., as amended and supplemented, any other law, regulation promulgated under the authority of any statute or Executive Order of the Governor, resolution of both houses of the Legislature, Executive Order of the Governor, Rules of Court, or any Federal law, Federal regulation or Federal order, the following records shall not be considered government records subject to public access pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq., as amended and supplemented:
1. Informant documents and statements;
2. Special Investigations Division investigations, provided that redaction of information would be insufficient to protect the safety of any person or the safe and secure operation of a correctional facility;
3. Documents that identify the physician attending an execution;
4. Documents pertaining to an individually identifiable crime victim(s), except that the identifiable crime victim shall have access to the documents;
5. A record which consists of any alcohol, drug or other substance abuse information, assessment, evaluation, report, summary, history, recommendation, treatment, including any assessment instruments.
6. A report or record relating to an identified individual which, if disclosed, would jeopardize the safety of any person or the safe and secure operation of the correctional facility or other designated place of confinement;
7. Comprehensive criminal history information ("rap sheet");
8. Any record generated by or on behalf of the Department of Corrections in connection with any discrimination or harassment complaint, except information, data and records filed with the New Jersey Merit System Board and the Department of Personnel as public information;
9. Information concerning individuals as follows:
i. Information relating to medical, psychiatric or psychological history, diagnosis, treatment or evaluation;
ii. Home addresses, home telephone numbers, personal e-mail addresses or other personal contact information;
iii. Information in an income or other tax return; and
iv. Information describing a natural person's finances, income, assets, liabilities, net worth, bank balances, financial history or activities, or credit worthiness, except as otherwise required by law to be disclosed.
10. Test questions, scoring keys and other examination data pertaining to the administration of an examination or an application for public employment or licensing;
11. Records of another department or agency allocated to that department in the possession of the Department of Corrections when those records are made confidential by a regulation of that department or agency allocated to that department adopted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. and Executive Order No. 9 (Hughes 1963), or pursuant to another law authorizing the department or agency to make records confidential or exempt from disclosure;
12. Records of the Department of Corrections held by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) or the State Records Storage Center of the Division of Archives and Records Management (DARM), in the Department of State, or an offsite storage facility outside of the regular business office of the Department. Such records shall remain the legal property of the Department and be accessible for inspection or copying only through a request to the proper custodian of the Department of Corrections. In the event that records of this Department have been or shall be transferred to and accessioned by the State Archives in DARM, all such records shall become the legal property of the State Archives, and requests for access to them shall be submitted directly to the State Archives; and
13. The Department of Corrections Disaster/Terrorism Contingency Report.
(b) An inmate shall not be permitted to inspect, examine or obtain copies of documents concerning any other inmate.

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