2019 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 52 - State Government, Departments and Officers
Section 52:27EE-28.4 - Correspondence, communication confidential, protected.

52:27EE-28.4 Correspondence, communication confidential, protected.

11. Correspondence and communication with the corrections ombudsperson shall be confidential and protected as privileged correspondence in the same manner as legal correspondence or communication.

a. The ombudsperson shall establish confidentiality rules and procedures for all information maintained by the office.

b. The ombudsperson shall treat all matters under investigation, including the identities of recipients of ombudsperson services, complainants, and persons from whom information is acquired, as confidential, except as far as disclosures may be necessary to enable the ombudsperson to perform the duties of the office and to support any recommendations resulting from an investigation. Upon receipt of information that, by law, is confidential or privileged, the ombudsperson shall maintain the confidentiality of the information and shall not further disclose or disseminate the information except as provided by applicable federal or State law or as authorized by this section.

c. To the extent the ombudsperson reasonably believes necessary, the ombudsperson:

(1) shall reveal information obtained in the course of providing services to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm; and

(2) may reveal information obtained in the course of providing ombudsperson services to prevent the commission of a crime.

d. If the ombudsperson believes it is necessary to reveal investigative records pursuant to subsection c. of this section, the ombudsperson shall provide a copy of what is intended to be disclosed to the department for review and application of legal exemptions prior to releasing the records to any other person. If the ombudsperson personally receives identifying information concerning a member of the corrections staff during the course of an investigation that the ombudsperson determines is unrelated or unnecessary to the subject of the investigation or recommendation for action, the ombudsperson shall not further disclose the information. If the ombudsperson determines that the disclosure is necessary to an investigation or recommendation, the ombudsperson shall contact the staff member, as well as the bargaining unit representative before any disclosure.

L.2019, c.288, s.11.

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