Sex Offender Supervision
The New Jersey State Parole Board is New Jersey's primary law enforcement agency responsible for sex offender supervision. Simply put, the goal of the agency's supervision of sex offenders is to prevent further victimization.
The agency's caseload of more than 5,000 sex offenders (as of 2013) is one of the largest in America, mainly due to the advent of Supervision for Life sentencing guidelines for sex offenders. Under State law, the vast majority of sex crimes committed on or after October 31, 1994 will result in lifetime supervision under the State Parole Board's jurisdiction. Prior to the introduction of this mandate, sex offenders made up less than 5 percent of the agency's caseload. Today they make up nearly one third of the caseload.
To meet the needs of this vitally important public safety responsibility, the State Parole Board conducted intensive research into the best practices and knowledge available on sex offender offense patterns, psychology and crime prevention. This led to our adoption of the Containment Approach to sex offender supervision, recommended by the National Institute of Justice, and the creation of the State Parole Board's Sex Offender Management Unit (SOMU) which became operational March 1, 2005.
The Containment Approach includes intensive parole supervision and intelligence sharing with partner criminal justice agencies; sex offender-specific treatment to help control sex offenders' impulsivity; and now includes polygraph examinations in certain cases, to monitor offenders for behaviors that increase the risk of re-offense. The State Parole Board works closely with law enforcement partners including the FBI, Office of the Attorney General, New Jersey State Police, county prosecutors, and with treatment providers including the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), to impose the external and internal controls essential to the containment of sex offenders who have been released to community supervision.
In support of this mission and under the Sex Offender Monitoring Act, the State Parole Board is empowered to subject the State's highest-risk sex offenders to round-the-clock Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring [pdf 110kB]. As reported in December 2007, the State Parole Board's initial data suggest GPS monitoring has contributed to a lower recidivism rate than nationwide data indicates for high-risk sex offenders. Under GPS monitoring, offenders' movements are recorded, time-stamped and stored, and used as evidence in the investigation of any new sex crimes. The State Parole Board regularly provides this data to other law enforcement agencies, to assist in their investigations.
The State Parole Board continues to seek and implement the best available training, expertise and partnerships in its supervision of dangerous sex offenders, a mission that is considered one of the most challenging law enforcement assignments in America.