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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #48

Governor Christine Todd Whitman

WHEREAS, the State prisons and other penal and correctional institutions of the New Jersey Department of Corrections continue to house populations of inmates in excess of their capacities and remain overcrowded; and

WHEREAS, on April 4, 1994, the State Legislature enacted P.L. 1994, c.12, which declared a continuing state of emergency in the State prisons and other penal and correctional institutions of the New Jersey Department of Corrections and conferred upon the Governor the authority to issue executive orders, for a period not to exceed 2 years, to address the effects of the continuing state of emergency declared therein; and

WHEREAS, on April 4, 1994, Executive Order No. 16 was issued pursuant to P.L. 1994, c.12 to address the effects of the continuing state of emergency in the State prisons and other penal and correctional institutions of the New Jersey Department of Corrections; and

WHEREAS, from April 1994, until this month, the total adult inmate population of State-sentenced inmates has increased from 23,608 to 27,950; and

WHEREAS, from April 1994, until this month, the total adult inmate population of State-sentenced inmates housed in county jails has increased from 4,020 to 4,517; and

WHEREAS, in April 1994, the State's adult and youth correctional institutions were operating at 134.3 percent of design capacity and are presently operating at 148.1 percent of design capacity; and

WHEREAS, the State's correctional system is receiving 100 more inmates per month than it is releasing from the system; and

WHEREAS, these conditions exist despite the addition of 2,145 beds to the State's correctional system since the issuance of Executive Order No. 16; and

WHEREAS, since April 1994, various initiatives have been implemented by the Department of Corrections as alternatives to incarceration to help lessen the State's inmate population; and

WHEREAS, efforts are continuing to address the problem, including the anticipated opening of Phase I of a new prison facility by March 1997 that will house 1,000 State-sentenced inmates; and

WHEREAS, the State continues to make a good faith effort to reduce the population of State-sentenced inmates in county facilities; and

WHEREAS, despite best efforts, overcrowding conditions continue to endanger the safety, welfare and resources of the residents of this State; and

WHEREAS, the scope of this crisis prevents local governments from safeguarding the people, property and resources of the State and continues to warrant a centralized management approach to inmate housing assignments; and

WHEREAS, the overcrowding conditions specified in Executive Order No. 16 of April 4, 1994, continue to create a state of emergency in the State prisons and other penal and correctional institutions of the New Jersey Department of Corrections; and

WHEREAS, P.L. 1994, c.12 and Executive Order No. 16 expire on April 4, 1996; and

WHEREAS, the State Legislature, by enactment of P.L. 1996, c.9, has declared that the state of emergency in the State prisons and other penal and correctional institutions of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, which was declared pursuant to P.L. 1994, c.12, continues; and

WHEREAS, the State Legislature, by enactment of P.L. 1996, c.9, has extended the Governor's authority to issue executive orders pursuant to that act to address the effects of the continuing state of emergency declared therein;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT as follows:

1. I invoke such powers as are conferred upon me by P.L. 1996, c.9.

2. I hereby direct that the authority to designate the place of confinement of any State-sentenced inmate shall be exercised for the duration of this Order by the designee of the Governor to address the emergency conditions within the State prisons and other penal and correctional institutions of the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

3. I hereby designate the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (the "Commissioner") to effectuate the provisions of this Order.

4. The Commissioner may designate as a place of confinement any available, suitable and appropriate institution or facility, whether owned by the State, a county, or any political subdivision of this State, or any other person, for the confinement of inmates confined or to be confined in the State and/or county penal or correctional institutions.

5. The Commissioner shall consult with the appropriate county officials prior to implementation of any substantial change in the population of State-sentenced inmates housed in that county.

6. The Commissioner shall have full authority to adopt such rules, regulations, orders and directives as he shall deem necessary to effectuate the provisions of this Order.

7. The Commissioner is authorized to establish rates of compensation for counties that house State-sentenced inmates as he deems appropriate.

8. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this 28th day of March in the Year
of Our Lord, One Thousand Nine
Hundred and Ninety Six, and of the
Independence of the United States,
the Two Hundred and Twentieth.

/s/ Christine Todd Whitman
Governor

Attest

/s/ Margaret M. Foti
Chief Counsel to the Governor

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