On writ of habeas corpus.
The petitioner was committed to the New Jersey Reformatory at Annandale on February 7, 1945, by one of the judges sitting in Essex County. On October 6, 1945, he was transferred by the Commissioner of the Department of Institutions and Agencies to the New Jersey State Prison at Trenton, where he is presently confined.
Among other things, and perhaps chief among his reasons, is the suggestion that by his transfer from the Reformatory at Annandale, where no minimum term is fixed by law, he was subjected to the "rules and regulations" of the New Jersey State Prison, whereby he would not be eligible for parole until the expiration of his maximum term, less work time earned under R.S. 30:4-92, and that the act providing for such transfer is unconstitutional.
The petitioner contends that by his transfer to the New Jersey State Prison he thereby became subject to the rules and regulations of the latter institution, under R.S. 30:4-86 and the provisions of law applicable thereto, as though originally committed to that institution, and cites the second paragraph of the section of the law in question, providing that:
"No order of transfer shall operate as authority for the detention of any person for a term in excess of that contemplated by the original sentence or order of commitment, and no person sentenced to a definite minimum term of imprisonment shall as a result of transfer be paroled or finally discharged before the expiration of such minimum term. * * *"
He contends that the act providing for such a transfer is to that extent unconstitutional.
R.S. 30:4-85, which provides that persons transferred shall be subject to the rules and regulations and discipline of the institution in which they are confined, relates solely to the administration and discipline of the institution in question, and does not increase or change the sentence originally imposed.
Under R.S. 30:4-86 the petitioner is not being detained for a term in excess of that contemplated by the original sentence or order of commitment, nor is he limited in his possibility
of parole or discharge because of a definite minimum term of imprisonment imposed. The sentence to the Reformatory at Annandale was for an indeterminate term, the minimum of which was the date of his commitment to that institution, and the maximum was the maximum term for the crime for which he was sentenced, namely, a high misdemeanor, for which the maximum term is seven years.
Technically at least, he became eligible for parole on the very day of his commitment to the Reformatory. His transfer to the New Jersey State Prison, for whatever reason it may have been, did not change the situation, for if it had, it would have provided a new and additional sentence which would have been illegal.
It is also suggested by the petitioner that, under the provisions of R.S. 30:4-140, the petitioner was entitled to remission time for orderly deportment, manifest effort of self-improvement and control, continuous good conduct, etc. However, this statute affects those directly committed to the State Prison, which is not the ...