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Winkle v. New Jersey Dep't of Corrections

June 16, 2004

CHARLES P. VAN WINKLE, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.



On appeal from a final decision of the Department of Corrections.

Before Judges Newman, Parrillo and Hoens.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Newman, J.A.D.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE PPELLATE DIVISION

Argued: May 3, 2004

Petitioner Charles Van Winkle appeals from a decision of respondent Department of Corrections (D.O.C.) denying him work credits for the period of time he was incarcerated in Pennsylvania serving concurrent Pennsylvania and New Jersey sentences. We now reverse.

On February 11, 1978, petitioner began serving a seventeen and one-half to thirty-five year sentence in Pennsylvania. Pursuant to the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD), petitioner was temporarily transferred from Pennsylvania to New Jersey to stand trial for pending charges.

On October 13, 1978, the court sentenced petitioner on Indictment No. 812-75, count two, to a term not less than five years nor more than seven years. On count three, petitioner was sentenced to a term not less than two years nor more than ten years to run consecutive to the sentence on count two. On count four, petitioner was sentenced to a term not less than two years nor more than six-year to run consecutive with the sentences imposed under counts two and three. On count five, petitioner was sentenced to a term not less than two years nor more than fifteen years, also to run consecutive with the terms from the other counts. The sentences imposed under all counts were ordered to run concurrent to petitioner's Pennsylvania sentence as well as a previous sentence out of Burlington County, New Jersey.

On Indictment No. 813-75, petitioner was sentenced on count six to a term not less than two years nor more than three years to run consecutive to all counts imposed under Indictment No. 812-75. On count seven, petitioner received a term of not less than three years nor more than five years to run consecutive to count six as well as all counts imposed under Indictment No. 812-75. The sentences imposed under counts six and seven were also ordered to run concurrent to petitioner's Pennsylvania and Burlington sentences.

On Indictment No. 1065-75, petitioner was sentenced on count one to a term not less than three years nor more than five years to run consecutive to all sentences imposed under Indictment Nos. 812-75 and 813-75. On count two, petitioner was sentenced to a term not less than three years nor more than four years to run consecutive to the count one sentence as well as all sentences imposed under Indictment Nos. 812-75 and 813-75. The sentences imposed under this indictment were also ordered to run concurrent to petitioner's Pennsylvania and Burlington sentences.

In sum, petitioner's aggregate New Jersey sentence totaled a minimum of twenty-two years and a maximum of fifty-five years.

Petitioner was returned to Pennsylvania, the sending state, in accordance with the provisions of the IAD where he continued serving his Pennsylvania sentence and concurrent New Jersey sentence. On June 14, 1994 Pennsylvania granted parole to petitioner and released him to the detainers filed against him by this State. Petitioner was transferred to the Adult Diagnostic & Treatment Center in Avenel, where he remains incarcerated. Between June 1994 and September 2001, petitioner earned 466 work credits towards his New Jersey sentence.

In early April 2001, petitioner wrote a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections requesting his work record so that New Jersey could use this information to award him additional work credits. The Pennsylvania D.O.C. informed the Avenel facility of petitioner's request. Upon learning of petitioner's request, Classification Officer Adele Aroneo wrote a letter to petitioner stating that work credits he may have earned in Pennsylvania are not credited against his sentence in this State.

On appeal, petitioner raises the following issues for our consideration:

I. APPELLANT IS ENTITLED TO WORK CREDITS PURSUANT TO N.J.S.A. 30:4-92 FOR WORK PERFORMED WHILE ...


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