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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #16

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, as of March 1994 the total adult inmate population of State-sentenced prisoners was 23,608, including 4,020 State-sentenced inmates in county jails; and

WHEREAS, the State's adult and youth correctional institutions are currently operating at 134.3 percent of design capacity; and

WHEREAS, these conditions continue to endanger the safety, welfare, and resources of the residents of this State; and

WHEREAS, from June 1981, when Executive Order No. 106 (Byrne) was issued under the authority of the Disaster Control Act, until this month, the population of State-sentenced prisoners grew from 7,940 to 23,608, exceeding all predictions for inmate population growth and taxing all State correctional facilities; and

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

WHEREAS, despite the construction of three prisons since the issuance of Executive Order No. 106 (Byrne), designed for 3,000 inmates and which now house 5,034 inmates at a construction cost of approximately $150 million, expansions of all existing facilities, and the opening of a facility at Fort Dix under a lease agreement with the federal government, the prison population growth has consistently outstripped infrastructure expansion throughout the past decade, exacerbating crowding conditions; and

WHEREAS, efforts are continuing to address the problem, including the planned construction of a new prison facility to be operational by the end of 1995; and

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

WHEREAS, the conditions specified in Executive Order No. 106 (Byrne) of June 19, 1981, continue to present a substantial likelihood of disaster, and in fact have worsened since that time as the prison population has expanded exponentially; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of New Jersey has determined that executive authority to address these emergency conditions under the Disaster Control Act expires on April 22, 1994; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 3 of January 19, 1994 was issued pursuant to the Disaster Control Act to address these emergency conditions and will expire on April 22, 1994; and

WHEREAS, the State Legislature, by enactment of P.L. 1994, c. 12 (C. ), has declared a continuing state of emergency in the State prisons and other penal and correctional institutions of the New Jersey Department of Corrections; and

WHEREAS, the State Legislature, by enactment of P.L. 1994, c. 12, (C. ), has conferred upon the Governor the authority to issue executive orders pursuant to that act in order 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. 1994, c. 12 (C. ).

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 shall establish a per diem rate in accordance with existing law to compensate counties that house State-sentenced inmates.

8. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal,
this 4th day of April in the Year of
Our Lord, One Thousand Nine Hundred
and Ninety-four, and of the Independence
of the United States, the Two Hundred
and Eighteenth.

Christine Todd Whitman


Peter Verniero
Chief Counsel to the Governor

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