State of New Jersey
       
Department of Corrections
"Protecting Public Safety by Changing Offender Behavior"
Commissioner
                         Victoria L. Kuhn, Esq.
NJDOC

COVID-19

Public Health Emergency Credit (PHEC) Release Notification
Please be advised that, pursuant to NJSA 30:4-123, Public Health Emergency law, the New Jersey Department of Corrections will be awarding public health emergency credits to those confined to the custody of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) who are statutorily eligible. On January 11, 2022, pursuant to Executive Order 280, a new public health emergency, as related to the Omicron variant, was declared. As a result, beginning on January 11, 2022, those offenders who are not exempt pursuant to the statute, were eligible to receive credits at a rate of 122 days for each month served during the public health emergency. With the declaration of the public health emergency on January 11, 2022, offenders who have served a month following January 11, 2022, will be eligible to receive 122 credits for any subsequent month, or portion thereof, served – for a maximum total of 244 credits that may be awarded during a public health emergency.

As of this writing, it is estimated that there are 852 offenders eligible for release on March 13, 2022. Please note that of the 852 total releases, 385 offenders are being released directly to parole. In addition, of the 852 releases, 118 offenders are being released from RCRPs and 39 released from county jails. Attached please find the following information:

• Chart reflecting the total release numbers from each correctional facility (including those being released to parole)
• Chart reflecting the county of conviction
• Attachment reflecting the last known town of residence (at the time of intake) for those being released. **Please note that, with the exception of Megan’s Law offenders and those being released pursuant to parole, the remaining offenders are not required to provide an address

The NJDOC is working in tandem with other State departments and agencies, including Department of Labor, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, NJ Transit, County and Municipal resources, and community and re-entry organizations to ensure as seamless a transition as possible for those leaving the custody of the NJDOC and reintegrating into society. The Department recently signed a memorandum of understanding with several community-based reentry service providers including Community in Cooperation, New Jersey Reentry Corporation, North Jersey Community Research Initiative, Youth Advocate Programs – Adult Reentry Services, and Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, so as to ensure that released individuals will receive a continuum of support post-release, removing barriers to housing, employment, and medical access, and creating pathways for reintegration into society.

In addition to these outside resources, prior to release, the NJDOC provides reentry preparation and pre-release services to include the following:

• Assistance with applying for and obtaining affordable healthcare, birth certificates, social security cards, Motor Vehicle Commission non-driver photo identification
• Providing a NJDOC photo identification card
• Assistance in applying online for WorkFirst NJ - General Assistance Program (GA)/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
• Inmates deemed homeless are immediately referred to the Division of Human Services for assistance with county-based shelter placement and to the Department’s MOU partners for assistance with housing placement
• Financial assistance to include a stipend, ShopRite gift card and backpack food care package to those who are homeless.
• Released individuals are provided with a debit card upon release, as a convenient means to access their funds
• A two weeks’ supply of prescription medication, as well as a 90-day prescription for additional medication
• A plan for a continuum of treatment for those on Medication-Assisted Treatment; which includes a 30-day supply of suboxone for MAT participants, referral to a MAT provider near the individual’s return location and connection to a Peer Navigator or Intensive Recovery Treatment Support (IRTS) specialist
• Narcan for those battling substance use disorders
• Free NJ Transit bus/rail tickets to those who are traveling home via public transportation; including 20 extra bus/rail tickets for those deemed homeless
• Special ambulance transport for those individuals who are wheelchair-bound
• COVID testing is conducted prior to release and COVID kits to include hand sanitizer, gloves, masks and at-home test kits are provided upon release

In addition, a hotline has been established for all who are being released, in an effort to provide assistance with issues that may arise. The hotline number is 609-826-5671.

Releases by Correctional FacilityReleases by County of Conviction

NJDOC Virus Mitigation Strategy
From the onset of the pandemic, the Department took immediate action to mitigate the spread of the virus. A number of these measures are noted in the following video including ongoing testing and vaccinations.



Incarcerated Population
Tests870,189
Cumulative Positives12,345
Fully vaccinated62.3% *
Vaccine Doses Distributed27,256
   •   First Dose10,999
   •   Second Dose9,733
   •   Booster6,524
Deaths60 *
* Vaccine distribution data is based on active population and may fluctuate as individuals enter and exit the system.

* NJDOC does not make any representations as to the cause of death for any individual, regardless of COVID-19 positive status. Questions about cause of death should be directed to the county medical examiner.
Staff Population
Tests498,087
Cumulative Positives8,351
Vax Rate72.5% *

* Vax rate is defined as staff who received at least one 1st dose of a two dose vaccine, or the single dose J & J vaccine; as required under EO 283.