Division of Parole
In New Jersey, parole officers are sworn law enforcement officers who work within the State Parole Board's Division of Parole. The Division is responsible for the supervision of more than 15,000 offenders statewide. These include offenders approved for parole release by the appointed Parole Board Members, as well as offenders released to Mandatory Supervision (MSV) under the No Early Release Act, sex offenders sentenced to Community Supervision for Life (CSL) or Parole Supervision for Life (PSL), and certain sex offenders subject to Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring.
The Division Training Unit also works in partnership with the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) and the Police Training Commission (PTC) to provide intensive training at the Basic Course for Investigators (BCI) to candidates selected by the State Parole Board to become parole officer recruits.
Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) for Supervision
Parole officers protect New Jersey's communities by working to ensure the offenders on their caseload comply with their conditions of supervision and by assisting the offenders in making progress toward successful reentry into society as productive, law-abiding citizens.
One vital tool in this effort is the use of Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) for supervision. Under EBP, the parole officer holds the offender accountable for taking the steps to successfully reenter society.
EPB starts with an objective risk assessment tool that records each offender's criminal history, educational or vocational needs, any mental health issues, and other factors that must be considered when planning the individual offender's successful reentry. The offender is required to sign a case plan agreement that outlines specific short-term and long-term goals essential to reentry. The parole officer then uses targeted sanctions and rewards, to encourage the offenderâ€™s progress toward those goals. Persistent failure to follow the case plan agreement could lead to more intensive supervision, or a referral to specialized programs under the State Parole Board's Division of Community Programs. When warranted, persistent failures would result in the offender's arrest and return to incarceration.
Specialized Parole Units
Each parole officer in the Division of Parole serves in one of 12 regional district offices, or in one of several special operations units. These units include:
Community Programs Supervision Unit (CPSU)
The Community Programs Supervision Unit includes those parole officers assigned to work with the State Parole Board's Division of Community Programs. These parole officers supervise parolees undergoing active treatment for addiction, mental health or other rehabilitative services in a residential treatment facility, Day Reporting Center, or other community-based program. The parole officers serve as a liaison between the parolee, the State Parole Board and the community program facility personnel. Click to read more about the Division of Community Programs .
Electronic Monitoring Unit (EMU)
The Electronic Monitoring Unit operates a Radio Frequency (RF) home confinement program for 400 technical parole violators. With the use of electronic ankle-mounted transmitters and home-based receivers that provide automatic alerts, the parole officers in the Electronic Monitoring Unit help ensure these offenders remain under home confinement at all times, except in cases where their conditions of supervision allow them outside at specific times for work, education or related activities.
The Electronic Monitoring Unit also operates New Jersey's Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring program for New Jersey's highest-risk sex offenders, in cooperation with the Sex Offender Management Unit. For much more information about the GPS program, read the Report on New Jersey's GPS Monitoring of Sex Offenders .
Fugitive Apprehension Unit (FAU)
The Fugitive Apprehension Unit conducts investigations to locate parole absconders, and conducts missions to capture them and return them to incarceration. The Fugitive Apprehension Unit members are deputized by the U.S. Marshals Service, with the authority to make arrests outside of New Jersey and return the offender to New Jersey through the extradition process. As members of the U.S. Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, the State Parole Board's Fugitive Apprehension Unit members also aid in the investigations and arrests of fugitives sought by other law enforcement agencies.
Any individuals who have information about a parole absconder are asked to call the State Parole Board tipline, at 1-800-668-7025, or submit your tip online via the State Parole Board's Parolee Locator .
Homeland Security Task Force (HSTF)
Parole officers assigned to the Homeland Security Task Force serve in this unit part time, in addition to their normal supervision duties. The Homeland Security Task Force is made up of more than 50 parole officers and supervisors trained to assist federal, state and local emergency responders in the event of a terror alert or other large-scale civil disturbance. These parole officers and supervisors work with the FBI, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security, and New Jersey Office of Emergency Management in intelligence sharing, investigation and preparing for potential public safety threats.
Office of Interstate Services (OIS)
The Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS) allows all 50 states to ensure a coordinated and managed system for the transfer of parolees and supervision duties across state lines. The State Parole Board's Office of Interstate Services monitors the supervision in other states of parolees who were sentenced in New Jersey, and the supervision in New Jersey of parolees who were sentenced in other states. The Office also manages the extradition of absconders from State Parole Board and juvenile parole supervision, as well as escapees from the New Jersey Department of Corrections and the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts'Intensive Supervision Program (ISP).
Sex Offender Management Unit (SOMU)
The State Parole Board'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 Community Supervision for Life (CSL) and Parole Supervision for Life (PSL) sentencing for sex offenders. Prior to the introduction of this sentencing mandate, sex offenders made up less than 5 percent of the State Parole Board's caseload. Today, they make up nearly a third of the caseload, with a net increase of about 45 new sex offenders each month.
Parole officers assigned to the Sex Offender Management Unit use a "containment" approach to sex offender supervision. This approach includes intensive parole supervision and information sharing with partner law enforcement agencies; sex offender-specific treatment to help control sex offenders' impulsivity; and will soon include polygraph examinations in certain cases, to obtain sexual history information and monitor offenders for behaviors that increase the risk of re-offense.
Street Gang Unit - SGU
Parole officers assigned to the Street Gang Unit serve in this unit part time, in addition to their normal supervision duties.
The Street Gang Unit members supervise about 500 parolees statewide who are known gang members. The Unit uses several aggressive methods to prevent gang violence and recruitment. These include intensive supervision of parolees, and sharing gang intelligence with the FBI, state and local law enforcement agencies. The officers' interaction with these parolees gives them a unique, street-level view of the ways gang membership affects individuals and communities, and the ways gangs attempt to lure young people.
Street Gang Unit members also conduct gang education and recognition training for hospitals, universities, public schools and municipal police departments, based on up-to-the-minute information collected during their everyday duties. The Street Gang Unit also provides Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) programming for elementary school students. Click to read more about the State Parole Board's anti-gang initiatives .
Division Training Unit (DTU)
The Division Training Unit provides ongoing in-service training to parole officers, including updates in use of force, First Aid/CPR, firearms handling, supervision techniques and information technology applications. The Division Training Unit also works in partnership with the Somerset County Police Academy and the Police Training Commission (PTC) to provide intensive training to candidates selected by the State Parole Board to become parole officer recruits. The State Parole Board's parole officer recruit training is among the most challenging and comprehensive parole officer training programs in the nation. Recruits receive more than six months of academy and agency training followed by a six-month period of on-the-job mentoring and training before they are eligible for promotion to the position of Senior Parole Officer.