State of New Jersey Civil Service Commission

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions   

Q: How many people are committed to the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) in one year?
A: Approximately 9,359 inmates were committed to NJDOC institutions during the 2015 calendar year.

Q: How many people are released from the Department of Corrections in one year?
A: Approximately 10,448 inmates were released from NJDOC institutions during the 2015 calendar year.

Q: What is the average length of sentence?
A: The median term for NJDOC inmates is six years. As of January 2016, 44 percent of all NJDOC inmates are serving terms of one-to-five years; 17 percent are serving terms of six-to-nine years; and 38 percent are serving maximum sentences of 10 years or more.

Q: What is a mandatory minimum sentence, and how many Department of Corrections inmates are serving mandatory minimum terms? 
A: In New Jersey, since 1979, the courts have utilized mandatory minimum sentences. This means that an offender must serve the entire mandatory portion of his or her sentence before becoming eligible for parole consideration. Mandatory minimum sentences cannot be reduced by earned credits (commutation, minimum security, or work). As of January 2016, 74 percent of all adult offenders have mandatory minimum terms. The median mandatory minimum sentence is 5 years. Twenty-six percent of those with mandatory minimum terms have mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years or more.

Q: How many Department of Corrections inmates have been convicted of a violent crime? How many have been convicted of a drug-related offense? 
A: As of January 2016, 59 percent of all NJDOC offenders were convicted of a violent offense, such as homicide, sexual assault, aggravated or simple assault, robbery, kidnapping and other person offenses (terroristic threats, coercion, larceny from a person, death by auto and negligent manslaughter). Sixteen percent of the inmate population was convicted of a drug-related offense. Virtually all drug offenses were for sale and distribution, rather than for possession.

Q: How many "lifers" are incarcerated in Department of Corrections facilities? 
A: Thirty-six percent of all Department of Corrections inmates were committed with total terms of 10 years or more. Of the total, 6 percent are serving life sentences with parole eligibility, and 77 offenders are serving life sentences without parole.

Q: What is the racial/ethnic breakdown of the Department of Corrections' inmate population?
A: As of January 2016, approximately 60 percent of all state correctional institutional offenders were African American, 23 percent were Caucasians, 16 percent were Hispanic, and 1 percent were Asian.

Q: How many institutions does the Department of Corrections operate?
A: The NJDOC is responsible for 13 major institutions -- seven adult male correctional facilities, three youth facilities, one facility for sex offenders, one women's correctional institution and a central reception/intake unit. These facilities collectively house more than 17,000 inmates in minimum, medium and maximum security levels.

Q: Do Department of Corrections inmates receive quality healthcare?
A: The Health Services Unit establishes Department of Corrections policy regarding medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy and mental health care of inmates held in state custody. The unit monitors professional activities to insure compliance with applicable rules, regulations and statutes related to inmate healthcare services, with a goal of assuring that community standards are maintained. The unit's Quality Assurance Section develops formal auditing instruments that allow for the performance of objective audits of all areas of inmate healthcare services, which were privatized in 1996.

Q: What are the procedures for visiting an inmate at a Department of Corrections facility?
A: Each facility has its own regulations. Specific questions regarding visitation procedures should be directed to the facility where the inmate is housed.

Q: What does the Department of Corrections do on behalf of crime victims?
A: The Office of Victim Services is devoted to protecting the rights of victims of crime and assisting victims in achieving meaningful services. The office was established to strengthen the role of the NJDOC in responding to the needs of victims. In conjunction with other state and local agencies, the office fosters cooperation and teamwork to ensure that victims are afforded fair and sensitive treatment. The Office of Victim Services can be contacted at 1-800-996-2029 or 609-292-4036, x5299.

Q: Where can I get information about a career with the Department of Corrections?
A: The NJDOC is the second-largest employer in state government. Approximately 8,000 employees are currently building rewarding careers with the department. To successfully carry out its mission, the NJDOC offers a wide variety of career opportunities in both administrative and operational areas. Additional information can be found in the “Careers in Corrections” section of this Web site.

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