[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Burlington 11-22-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-OR-029. Amendments noted where applicable.]
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.
- REVIEW COMMITTEE
- A committee comprised of the Director of Public Safety (or his/her designee), the Director of Recreation (or his/her designee) and the Chairperson of the Board of Recreation Commissioners (or his/her designee).
- TOWNSHIP FACILITY
- Any facility owned, leased or used by the Township or under the Township's control, including, without limitation, Township offices, meeting rooms, parks and recreation fields, and when applicable, any facility used for youth programs for which the Township pays usage fees.
- TOWNSHIP-SPONSORED YOUTH PROGRAM
- Any organized program with participants who are Township residents under the age of 18 that are sponsored by the Township, receive Township assistance for its programs and/or services, or with the written permission of the Director of Recreation, utilize Township facilities, including buildings and/or recreation fields, on a regular or recurring basis.
- NON-TOWNSHIP-SPONSORED YOUTH PROGRAM
- Any organized youth program which is not sponsored by the Township, but with the approval of the Director of Recreation is permitted to utilize municipal facilities, or has affiliation with a Township-sponsored youth program, and has contact with persons under the age of 18.
- NONPROFIT YOUTH-SERVING ORGANIZATION
- A corporation, association or other organization established pursuant to New Jersey law, but excluding public and nonpublic schools, 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.
All employees and volunteers of a Township-sponsored, or non-Township-sponsored, youth program shall be required to submit to a mandatory criminal history record background check. The Director of Recreation shall be responsible for developing procedures and forms for the purpose of obtaining the criminal history record background check information. The only persons who may request an exemption from this requirement by providing documentation to the Director of Recreation with a copy to the Director of Public Safety are teachers who are currently teaching and have had a criminal history record background check; law enforcement officers or federal agents who are authorized to carry a firearm; or others who are similarly situated and can provide a criminal history record background check. The determination as to whether the background check information is sufficient shall be made by the Director of Recreation in consultation with the Director of Public Safety.
The Township will bear the costs of a criminal history record background check for employees and volunteers seeking to participate in a Township-sponsored youth program.
An employee or volunteer who has had a positive criminal history record background check shall be issued an identification card which he or she is required to display while performing any activity on behalf of, or involving, a youth program. An identification card shall be effective for three years from the date of the positive criminal history record background check.
In the event that the criminal history record background check contains a conviction for any crime or offense which threatens the health, safety or welfare of youths under the age of 18, said person shall be disqualified from participating in any function for youth under the age of 18 held at any Township-owned facilities or in any Township-sponsored youth program or non-Township-sponsored youth program under the auspices of a nonprofit youth-serving organization. Such offenses shall include, but are not limited to:
In New Jersey, any crime or disorderly persons offense:
Involving danger to the person, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses 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 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 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 Subsection A above.
The list of disqualifying crimes and offenses is for illustrative purposes only and shall not be construed as a limitation on those criminal activities or violations that would be grounds to disqualify a person from assisting with youth-related programs.
Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize an excluded sex offender, as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:7-22, to serve as an employee or volunteer in a Township- or non-Township-sponsored youth program or youth-serving organization or any other entity from which the excluded sex offender is otherwise statutorily disqualified.
Notification of disqualification. An individual who has a negative criminal history record background check shall be notified by the Director of Recreation of the basis for the disqualification, in writing, via certified and regular mail. The individual shall further be advised of the right to an appeal hearing before the Review Committee, which hearing must be requested within 20 days of the receipt of the mailing of the notice.
If an appeal is requested, a hearing shall be conducted by the Review Committee. The individual shall have the burden of providing reasons as to why he or she should be permitted to be participate as a volunteer or employee in a Township- or non-Township-sponsored youth sponsored program. The Review Committee, in its sole discretion, shall within 10 days after the close of the hearing render a written decision. The decision shall be mailed by the Director of Recreation by both regular and certified mail to the address provided by the individual. All proceedings and materials relating to a disqualification shall be confidential.
Factors to be considered by the Review Committee when considering an appeal may include, but are not limited to, whether the results of the criminal history record background check were accurate; the nature and responsibility of the position for which the individual would hold or has held; the nature and seriousness of the crime or offense; the circumstances under which the crime or offense occurred; the date of the crime or offense; the age of the individual when the crime or offense was committed; whether the crime or offense was an isolated or repeated incident; any social conditions which may have contributed to the crime or offense; any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct in the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received, and the acquisition of additional academic or vocational education and prior participation in youth organizations; and a recommendation of any person who has had experience with the individual.
Limitation on access. To effectuate the purposes of assuring the safety and well-being of children under the age of 18 participating in Township- and non-Township sponsored youth programs, access to criminal history record background check information is restricted to authorized personnel of the Township, and the applicable nonprofit youth serving organization, on a need-to-know basis, as authorized by federal or state statute, rule or regulation, executive order, administrative code, ordinance or resolution regarding obtaining and dissemination of criminal history record background check information.
Limitation on use. The Township, the Review Committee and each youth organization shall limit their use of criminal history record background check information solely to the authorized purpose for which it was obtained, and the information shall not be disseminated to any unauthorized person. Any person violating federal or state regulations governing access to criminal history record information may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.
The Director of Recreation shall safeguard all forms and criminal history record background check and related information. The forms, criminal history record background check, and related information are exempt from public disclosure under the common law and New Jersey Open Public Records Act. These records shall only be retained for such period of time as is necessary to serve their intended purpose and shall be destroyed in accordance with Township practice and state law governing the destruction of government records.
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.