The State Parole Board's Juvenile Unit conducts quarterly reviews and makes recommendations on parole matters related to juvenile offenders housed in Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) or Department of Corrections (DOC) institutions.
New Jersey law keeps adult parole matters separate from juvenile parole matters. State Parole Board hearing officers assigned to adult cases may not conduct hearings in juvenile cases. In addition, the Governor appoints Board Members to the Juvenile Panel. The Juvenile Panel Board Members and the Chairman of the State Parole Board are the only Board Members with jurisdiction over juvenile cases. The Juvenile Panel renders parole release, rescission and revocation decisions, and conducts quarterly and annual reviews of juvenile offenders' cases.
The reentry process starts when a juvenile offender enters the JJC's Juvenile Reception and Assessment Center, and meets with a Juvenile Unit hearing officer or designated Board Member to discuss the programs the juvenile offender must complete in order to address problems and eventually successfully return to the community. Every three months thereafter, an interview with each juvenile resident is conducted by the Juvenile Panel or by Juvenile Unit hearing officers.
Every three months, the members of the Juvenile Unit interview each of the youths housed in JJC facilities or State prisons, to help the youths develop three-month, six-month and long-term goals toward changing their lives and having a legitimate future in society. The interviews are conducted by the Juvenile Panel members, or by Juvenile Unit hearing officers.
Hearing officers in the Juvenile Unit conduct interviews, gather case information and conduct quarterly reviews and rescission hearings exclusively involving juvenile offenders. Their responsibilities are similar to those of the State Parole Board hearing officers assigned to matters involving adult offenders.
The Juvenile Unit is involved in several reentry initiatives throughout New Jersey. When a juvenile offender is released to parole supervision from a juvenile facility, the juvenile parolee is supervised not by the State Parole Board, but by a separate unit of parole officers under the JJC's Parole and Transitional Services Division. Juvenile offenders released to parole supervision from adult institutions are supervised by the State Parole Board's parole officers.