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Rack v. New Jersey Dep't of Corrections

December 2, 2009

ALEXANDER C. RACK, IV, #278646, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, RESPONDENT.



On appeal from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted November 16, 2009

Before Judges Reisner and Yannotti.

Alexander C. Rack, IV, (Rack) is an inmate in the State's correctional system, who is incarcerated at Northern State Prison (NSP) in Newark, New Jersey. Rack is presently serving a twenty-eight year sentence which was imposed after he was convicted of criminal attempt to commit murder, stalking, burglary and a weapons offense. Rack appeals from a final determination of the Department of Corrections (DOC), dated October 27, 2008, which denied his application for a change in his Objective Classification Score (OCS), which affects his custody status. We affirm.

The custody status of male inmates in the State correctional system is initially determined in accordance with the objective criteria prescribed in N.J.A.C. 10A:9-2.4. Inmates are thereafter reclassified. The criteria for the reclassification of male inmates, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 10A:9-2.6(b), are: severity of offense; prior history of assault offenses in the previous ten years; history of institutional violence within the previous five years; escape history during the previous five years; number of disciplinary reports within the previous eighteen months; most severe disciplinary infraction received in the previous twelve months; current age; and program participation during current admission. N.J.A.C. 10A:9-2.6(b)(1) to (8). Inmates are assigned points in each category in accordance with prescribed assessment scales. N.J.A.C. 10A:9-2.6(a).

The institutional violence scale for male inmates is set forth in N.J.A.C. 10A:9-2.11(a), which states in pertinent part that:

1. Inmates with zero institutional disciplinary reports shall receive zero points;

2. Inmates with an institutional disciplinary report including violence not involving use of a weapon or not resulting in serious injury shall receive five points; or

3. Inmates with an institutional disciplinary report including violence involving use of a weapon and/or resulting in serious injury shall receive seven points.

Rack was reclassified in September 2008, and he was assigned the following points scores on the OCS:

Severity of Current Offense 6 Prior History of Assaults Offenses 0 Escape History 0 History of Institutional Violence 5 Number of Disciplinary Reports -2 Most Severe Discipline 0 Age -2 Program Participation -2 Total Score 5

Rack was assigned five points for history of institutional violence because in 2005, he was sanctioned for fighting with another person, which is prohibited act *.004 under N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a) and is considered an act of institutional violence under N.J.A.C. 10A:9-2.6(b)(3)(iv).

An inmate's score of twelve points or more on the OCS indicates a recommendation for placement in maximum custody status. N.J.A.C. 10A:9-2.6(a)(1). A score of five to eleven points indicates a recommendation for placement in medium custody status. N.J.A.C. 10A:9-2.6(a)(2). A score of four points or less indicates a ...


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