NJ Sex Offender Act and eligibility of out-of-state offenders

By Maynard & Sumner, LLC of Maynard & Sumner, LLC posted in Megan’s Law on Friday, January 31, 2014.

In the State of New Jersey, convicted sex offenders, who conform to certain criteria, are eligible for inmate treatment at the Adult Diagnostic Treatment Center (ADTC) under the Sex Offender Act (SOA), pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:47-1 et seq. The ADTC offers more than just treatment to certain sex offenders, but a variety of different treatment programs depending on the classification of offender. In a recent NJ Appellate Division case, a New Hampshire sex offender, who was transferred to the ADTC for treatment, argues that he should have been admitted into the program afforded to NJ offenders sentenced under the SOA. The Appellate Division determined that the New Hampshire offender was assigned to the proper program, and affirmed the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) decision.

The program under the Sex Offender Act, created by the legislature, permits the confinement of an offender at the ADTC only if specific criteria are met:

  1. The offender must be convicted of on the SOA’s enumerated offenses;
  2. There must be a finding, following a psychological examination, that “the offender’s conduct was characterized by a pattern of repetitive, compulsive behavior”;
  3. The offender must be both amendable to sex offender treatment and willing to participate in such treatment; and
  4. Following review, the judge must confirm the requisite findings.

In the case of the New Hampshire sex offender, the offender was convicted under one of the enumerated offenses of the Sex Offender Act, and was amenable to treatment. However, he was not deemed “repetitive” or “compulsive” at the time of his sentencing by the New Hampshire court. Therefore, his current treatment program was appropriately assigned.

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