On appeal from the Department of Corrections.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Espinosa, J.S.C. (temporarily assigned)
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted January 4, 2010
Before Judges Axelrad, Fisher and Espinosa.
Rahgeam Jenkins, an inmate at New Jersey State Prison, appeals from the final decision of the Department of Corrections (DOC) finding him guilty of disciplinary infraction *.011, which is defined in N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1 as "possession or exhibition of anything related to a security threat group." He challenges the regulation as unconstitutionally vague and the sufficiency of the evidence against him. We affirm.
On September 23, 2008, three letters were seized during a search of Jenkins's cell. The investigator reported that Jenkins had occupied the cell where the material was seized since September 27, 2007. He concluded, "I/M is not permitted to possess STG [security threat group] related material, hazard to safety and security of institution[,]" and referred the matter to a hearing officer. Jenkins was placed in pre-hearing detention. The seized letters were referred to the Special Investigations Division (SID)*fn1 for verification of STG related content. As a result, the hearing was postponed.
Jenkins entered a plea of not guilty and requested a counsel substitute, which was provided.
Three handwritten letters seized from Jenkins's cell were received in evidence at the hearing. Investigator S. Harrison, an Intelligence Investigator who has received training as a gang investigator, prepared an Evidence Review Form. According to Investigator Harrison, two of the letters that Jenkins had received from inmates at other institutions contained STG related material. No references were identified in a third letter.
A letter from an inmate at the Hudson County Correctional Center reads as follows:*fn2
Well i salute all warriors you shed blood sweat & tears with honor and respect. Well as you can see my hearts beating and that im in good hands. Im riding shotgun with Bevinobr so you know we dirty, ya heard. Well i don't know your whole situations and i don't know if i'm a be here long, but you can fly back a kite. As for me, well i just got sentenced by the feds to a 110 months for a gun possession and busting a niggas ass, also i got 2 Ì and i go by the name of "Trig." If you would send me some street info where i can write and they will send you my mail & vice versa thatll be love. But if its anything more you need from me just holla ill hear it.
Knotsaka "Trig" aka NJ Bravest Heart P.S. If you have K.O.'s SBI# please forward it to me, so I could bark at him. Trillz Also we had got word that KBs heart might have stop beating, but we're not for sure if hes playing the murda game, but if so hes definitely off of this line & anyone else whose heart stops beating. [(Emphasis added).]
Investigator Harrison identified the following as references to the Bloods in this letter:
1. The author described the status/rank (2 star General) he holds in the STG Bloods along with his AKA/alias name (Trig).
2. The author uses the term/slang word "Trillz." This is a common word that's used among fellow STG Bloods Members.
The third letter was correspondence between Jenkins and an inmate at South Woods State Prison, which reads as follows:
First & formost I will like to extend my love, respect & honor to you. I also hope this vine reaches you in the best of health. Furthermore im assure that your heart is as brave as its ever been! I know you may think its been a mintue since you last heard from me. Although I was at war wit the opposite team. Fortunately the war was win unanimously. I was found not guilty on all counts. So of course the kid is happy! Anyhow that was the situation that cause my delay to respond to you. So have you been up on ya current events. Like how one officer is taken the weight for everything? Or how about the three individuals that got into a shootout with the Feds where as one of the Feds got killed, and the individuals was in the process of robbing the bank? Well as you could tell im getting more intuned to worldly events. Although on the other hand, I would like to refresh your thoughts on a few things. You said I would have to come there in order to receive something of such substance. Anyhow im in need of some info. I would like to know if you could look into things or maybe you may have it yourself. I need for you to try to provide me with. The info on where in S.I. unless you have the info already. The info to get in touch wit KO. Im asking cause someone wit your prestige maybe able to provide me with that. Now as far as the vine you received without the stamp. The box where I was being held allows you to send three free letters a week. So thats what that be about. Other than that trust and believe I am my brothers keeper! Without further delay Im resting my pen. Stay Strong stay Brave! [obscured -illegible]*fn3 bury stillmatic.
014 Bevin30 PS Ford is built tough!
I m just Hard Body! How about you? [(Emphasis added).]
Investigator Harrison identified the following STG ...