[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township of Howell 5-20-2002 by Ord. No. 0-02-20. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also required that all nonprofit youth-serving organizations in Howell Township complete their initial background checks of all volunteers by 1-1-2003.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD BACKGROUND CHECK
- A determination of whether a person has a criminal record by cross-referencing that person's name and fingerprints with those on file with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division and the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police.
- The Township of Howell Police Department.
- NONPROFIT YOUTH-SERVING ORGANIZATION or ORGANIZATION
- A corporation, association or other organization established pursuant to Title 15 of the Revised Statutes, Title 15A of the New Jersey Statutes or other law of the state, but excluding public and nonpublic schools, and which provides recreational, cultural, charitable, social or other activities or services for persons younger than 18 years of age, and is exempt from federal income taxes.
- REVIEW COMMITTEE or COMMITTEE
- A three-member Committee consisting of the Township Manager
and Chief of Police and Township Manager's designee. The Committee
shall be charged with the review of all appeals by any employee or
volunteer whose criminal history background check reveals a disqualifying
criminal conviction.[Amended 4-24-2012 by Ord. No. 0-12-09]
- Any person involved with a nonprofit youth-serving organization who has unsupervised direct access to minors as a result of their involvement with the organization.
The Township of Howell requires that all employees and volunteers of a nonprofit youth-serving organization request through the sponsoring organization, who shall have the requisite VRN number from the state to accomplish same, conduct a criminal history record background on each prospective and current employee or volunteer of the organization.
[Amended 8-16-2011 by Ord. No. 0-11-21]
The sponsoring organization shall inform the Township Manager or the Township Manager's designee whether the person's criminal history record background check reveals a conviction of a disqualifying crime or offense specified in § 115-3 of this chapter.
[Amended 8-16-2011 by Ord. No. 0-11-21; 4-24-2012 by Ord. No. 0-12-09]
A criminal history record background check shall be completed by the sponsoring agency only upon receipt of the written consent for the check from the prospective or current person with direct unsupervised access to minors.
[Amended 8-16-2011 by Ord. No. 0-11-21]
The employee or volunteer shall bear the costs associated with conducting his or her criminal history background check.
A person may be disqualified from serving as an employee or volunteer of a nonprofit youth-serving organization if that person's criminal history record background check reveals a record of conviction of any of the following crimes and offenses:
In New Jersey, any crime or disorderly persons offense:
Involving danger to the person, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1 et seq.; N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 et seq.; N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1 et seq.; N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1 et seq.; or N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 et seq.
Against the family, children or incompetents, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:24-1 et seq.
Involving theft as set forth in Chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.
[Amended 11-23-2004 by Ord. No. 0-04-50; 8-16-2011 by Ord. No. 0-11-21]
Prospective or current employees or volunteers of nonprofit youth-serving organizations shall submit their names, addresses, fingerprints and written consent to the organization for the criminal history record background check to be performed. Thereafter, all subsequent background checks shall be undertaken by the sponsoring agency every three years after the date of the initial check and a federal background check every three years after the initial check.
All sponsoring agencies must submit, on an annual basis, prior to the beginning of any seasonal activity or activity or program, to the Howell Township Manager's office, a certified list of all prospective or current employees or volunteers who have been fingerprinted in accordance with this chapter to ensure compliance with same. Failure to do so will result in the penalties set forth herein.
[Amended 4-24-2012 by Ord. No. 0-12-09]
Access to criminal history record information for noncriminal justice purposes, including licensing and employment, is restricted to the members of the Review Committee, as authorized by federal or state statute, rule or regulation, executive order, administrative code, local ordinance or resolution regarding obtaining and disseminating of criminal history record information obtained under this chapter.
The Review Committee shall limit its use of criminal history record information solely to the authorized person for which it was obtained, and criminal history record information furnished shall not be disseminated to persons or organizations not authorized to receive the records for authorized purposes. Use of this record shall be limited solely to the authorized purpose for which it was given, and it shall not be disseminated to any unauthorized persons. This record shall be destroyed immediately after it has served its intended and authorized purpose. Any person violating federal or state regulations governing access to criminal history record information may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.
If this criminal history record may disqualify an employee or volunteer for any purpose, the Committee's determination shall be provided to the employee or volunteer with an opportunity to complete and challenge the accuracy of the information contained in the criminal history record. The employee or volunteer shall be afforded a reasonable period of time to correct and complete this record. A person is not presumed guilty of any charges or arrests for which there are no final dispositions indicated on the record. The sponsoring organization shall make the initial recommendation to the Review Committee based solely on the NJ State Statutes. They shall advise the Committee whether the volunteer is being recommended or not. The Review Committee will receive a preprinted form on each individual submitted to the sponsoring organization for background check. One form will be for recommendation and the other will be for rejection. If there is a rejection, the Committee may still allow the employee or volunteer to participate. The sponsoring organization will make a recommendation based on the record only. It is within the Committee's discretion to overturn the recommendation of the sponsoring organization recommendation.
[Amended 8-16-2011 by Ord. No. 0-11-21]
Appeal process. The Review Committee shall promptly notify a prospective or current employee or volunteer whose criminal history background check reveals a disqualifying conviction. The person shall have 30 days from the receipt of that notice to petition the Committee for a review and cite reasons substantiating the review.
Notwithstanding the provisions of § 115-3 of this chapter, no person shall be disqualified from serving as an employee or volunteer of a nonprofit youth-serving organization on the basis of any conviction disclosed by a criminal history record background check; if the person has affirmatively demonstrated to the Committee clear and convincing evidence of the person's rehabilitation, the Review Committee shall consider the following factors:
The nature and responsibility of the position which the convicted person would hold or has held, as the case may be;
The nature and seriousness of the offense;
The circumstance under which the offense occurred;
The date of the offense;
The age of the person when the offense was committed;
Whether the offense was an isolated or repeated incident;
Any social conditions which may have contributed to the offense; and
Any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct in prison or the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received, acquisition of additional academic or vocational schooling, successful participation in correctional work release programs or the recommendation of those who have had the person under their supervision.
The Committee shall promptly advise the nonprofit youth-serving organization whether a person is qualified to serve as an employee or volunteer of the organization.
[Added 8-16-2011 by Ord. No. 0-11-21]
Failure of any sponsoring organization to comply with the requirements set forth herein shall, upon conviction of same, be punished by a fine not exceeding $2,000, with the minimum penalty of a first offense being $500.