[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Hamilton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-22-2004 by Ord. No. 04-057; amended 3-9-2008 by Ord. No. 08-006; 5-20-2009 by Ord. No. 09-016 (Ch. 2, § 2-281, of the 1994 Code of Ordinances)]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- The Township provision of funding or facilities, including maintenance of facilities.
- 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.
- 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 and is exempt from federal income taxes but excluding public and nonpublic schools, and which provides sports-related activities or services for persons younger than 18 years of age, in connection with Hamilton Township sponsored or cosponsored sports programs or leagues.
- REVIEW COMMITTEE or COMMITTEE
- A three-member committee consisting of the Superintendent of the Township's Division of Recreation, the Township's Business Administrator and the Chief of the Hamilton Township Police Division. 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.
- Leagues and recreation run directly by the Hamilton Township Recreation Division, including oversight, control and/or fiscal contribution.
- To have the direction and oversight of the performance of others.
- Not supervised or not under constant observation.
- Any person involved with a Hamilton Township-sponsored or cosponsored sports program or league who has regular unsupervised direct access to minors as a result of their involvement with the organization.
The Township of Hamilton requires that all nonprofit youth-serving organizations request that the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police conduct a criminal history record background check on each prospective and current employee and volunteer of the organization. This criminal history background check shall be conducted by the New Jersey State Police or its designated vendor for that purpose. Each youth league must ensure that all employees and volunteers comply with the instructions provided by the New Jersey State Police or its designee. Each youth league must supply each employee or volunteer with the necessary forms and information to complete the process. There shall be a thirty-day grace period for each new employee or volunteer of the youth-serving organization to make application for this criminal history record background check. All coaches must have their fingerprinting and applications completed by the end of the thirty-day grace period.
The youth organizations shall request a criminal history record background check only upon receipt of the written consent for such a check from the prospective or current employee or volunteer with direct unsupervised access to minors.
The Township shall bear the costs associated with conducting the criminal history record background checks required by this article in accordance with the fees established by the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police, and in accordance with N.J.S.A. 15A:3A-2d. The initial expense is to be borne by the employee or volunteer. Upon completing the processing, the youth organization shall reimburse each employee or volunteer. The youth organization will then submit to the Township a request for reimbursement by showing how much is due, with proof of completion and names of employees or volunteers. However, if an independent organization agrees to bear the costs associated with conducting the background checks required by this article, such costs shall be paid directly by such organization and the Township shall have no obligation to pay such costs, either directly or through reimbursement.
The state police or its designee shall inform the youth organization whether the person's criminal history record background check reveals a conviction of a disqualifying crime or offense as specified in § 24-3 below. Any information received by the youth organization shall be communicated to the Hamilton Township Police Division, which information shall be confidential, except as otherwise provided herein.
Any person who, by virtue of their occupation, is required by statute to undergo a federal and state criminal history record background check similar in nature to the requirements contained herein, and who can provide proof of the results of such background check, or has obtained clearance similar in nature to the requirements contained herein from another municipality, organization, or similar entity, and can provide proof of such clearance, is exempt from the requirements hereunder until three years has elapsed since the most current 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., such as criminal homicide; N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 et seq., such as assault, reckless endangerment, threats, stalking; N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1 et seq., such as kidnapping; N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1 et seq., such as sexual assault; or N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 et seq., such as robbery;
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., such as endangering the welfare of a child;
Involving theft as set forth in Chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes;
Involving any controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog as set forth in Chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes except Paragraph (4) of Subsection (a) of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.
In any other state or jurisdiction, conduct which, if committed in New Jersey, would constitute any of the crimes or disorderly persons offenses described in this section.
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, 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 individual for which it was obtained, and the criminal history record information furnished shall not be disseminated to persons or organizations not authorized to receive the records for authorized purposes. This information shall be limited solely to the authorized purpose for which it was given, and it shall not be disseminated to any unauthorized persons. Any person violating federal or state regulations governing access to criminal history records information may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.
A person is not presumed guilty of any charges or arrests for which there are no final dispositions indicated on the criminal history record background check. The state police shall make the initial recommendation concerning the individual, based solely on the New Jersey State Statutes, to the Hamilton Township Police Division who shall provide the information to the review committee and advise the review committee whether or not the individual is being recommended. The review committee will receive a preprinted form on each individual submitted to the state police for a background check. One form will be for recommendation and the other will be for rejection. If there is a rejection, the review committee may nonetheless allow the employee or volunteer to participate in Township-sponsored or cosponsored recreation. It is within the review committee's discretion to supersede the state police recommendation.
Upon receipt of the information from the Hamilton Township Police Division, the review committee shall promptly provide written notice to a prospective or current employee or volunteer whose criminal history record background check reveals a disqualifying conviction. The person shall have 30 days from the receipt of that notice to petition the review committee (in writing addressed to the Township's Business Administrator) of an intention to challenge and/or review the accuracy of the information received and the committee's determination. The individual shall cite reasons substantiating the challenge and review. If such individual provides documentation to the satisfaction of the committee, the committee may, in its discretion and without a hearing thereon, allow such individual to participate in Township-sponsored or cosponsored recreation. If the documentation is not satisfactory, the committee shall hold a hearing to consider the challenge and/or review within 30 days of receiving notice of an individual's intention to challenge. The committee must render its final decision within 30 days of the hearing date.
Where an individual with a disqualifying conviction was denied prior to the enactment of this article and subsequently reinstated by the review committee, such employee or volunteer shall only be required to provide a copy of their criminal history record to the Business Administrator stating that they have not been convicted of any other offenses since their initial challenge to their denial. No further challenge or hearing is required.
Where an individual with a disqualifying conviction is denied subsequent to the enactment of this article, such employee or volunteer shall submit a copy of their criminal history record along with a written challenge addressed to the Business Administrator for committee review and possible hearing thereon.
Notwithstanding the criteria set forth in § 24-3 of this article, no person shall be disqualified from serving as an employee or volunteer of a nonprofit youth-serving organization, if the person can affirmatively demonstrate rehabilitation to the review committee. In determining whether a person has affirmatively demonstrated 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 circumstances under which the offense occurred;
The date of the offense;
The age of the person and the victim (if any) when the offense was committed;
Whether the offense was an isolated or repeated incident;
Any social conditions which may have contributed to the offense;
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 review committee shall promptly advise an organization in writing if a current or prospective employee or volunteer whose criminal history record background check reveals a disqualifying offense has affirmatively demonstrated rehabilitation under this article.
The potential demonstration of rehabilitation shall not apply to persons who have been convicted, adjudicated, delinquent or acquitted by reason of insanity, of any of the following crimes: aggravated sexual assault; sexual assault; aggravated criminal sexual contact; kidnapping pursuant to Paragraph (2) of Subsection c of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1; endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child pursuant to Subsection a of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4; endangering the welfare of a child pursuant to Paragraph (4) of Subsection b of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4; luring or enticing pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6; criminal sexual contact pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3b, if the victim is a minor; kidnapping pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2, or false imprisonment pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:13-3, if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim; knowingly promoting prostitution of a child pursuant to Paragraph (3) or Paragraph (4) of Subsection b of N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1; or an attempt to commit any of these enumerated offenses.
When the review committee provides written notification to an individual stating whether the criminal history record background check performed pursuant to this article reveals a disqualifying offense, or stating that the person has affirmatively demonstrated rehabilitation under this article, the review committee may file that written notification with the Hamilton Township Police Division.
The Hamilton Township Police Division shall keep any such written notification received from the review committee on file for three years from the date it was issued.
The review committee may request the Hamilton Township Police Division to review its files to determine if there is written notification on file stating whether a criminal history record background check of a current or prospective employee or volunteer revealed a disqualifying offense, or stating that the person has affirmatively demonstrated rehabilitation under this article. A current or prospective employee or volunteer shall not be required to submit to another criminal history record background check if such written notification was issued within the past three years.
No person or entity shall be held liable in any civil or criminal action brought by any party based on any written notification that may be on file with the Hamilton Township Police Division pursuant to the provisions of this article.
Failure to comply with the criminal history background check requirements of this article may result in the Township withholding funding for the subject program or league and/or prohibiting the use of Township facilities by that program or league.