NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted July 9, 2013
On appeal from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
Anthony Boone, appellant pro se.
John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Lewis A. Scheindlin, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Marvin L. Freeman, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).
Before Judges Ashrafi and St. John.
Inmate Anthony Boone appeals a June 29, 2011, decision of the Department of Corrections (DOC) finding him guilty of disciplinary infraction *.701, unauthorized use of mail or telephone, in violation of N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1. We affirm.
We briefly summarize the relevant procedural history and the facts based on the record before us.
Boone is currently incarcerated at New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) serving a life sentence for murder and other charges. From September 25, 2007, until June 20, 2011, he was administratively transferred to East Jersey State Prison (EJSP). Beginning in 2006, the DOC's Special Investigations Division (SID) investigated a conspiracy to smuggle narcotics and cellular telephones into NJSP. The inquiry determined that Boone had violated telephone procedures at NJSP.
The DOC and NJSP permit inmates to make phone calls pursuant to the Individual Personal Identification Number (IPIN) system. In order to be given telephone privileges, an inmate must complete an IPIN form and list up to ten telephone numbers of family, friends, and acquaintances. Upon approval of the list, the inmate is provided an IPIN and the telephone list is activated. The prison policy clearly states "[o]nce an IPIN number [has] been issued to you, it cannot be changed. Do not under any circumstances share this information with anyone else." SID investigation disclosed that NJSP Inmate Anthony Kidd made 433 phone calls using Boone's IPIN.
On June 21, 2011, Boone was served with notice of the charge. Boone pled not guilty. A hearing was commenced on June 22, 2011, and postponed until June 27, 2011, because Boone wanted to confront the SID investigator. At the hearing in response to the charge, Boone stated "So what if I let him use my IPIN." Boone never denied giving Kidd his IPIN. He challenged the hearing officer to "produce the rule I can't let someone else use my IPIN." At no point did Boone explain how Kidd had gotten his IPIN without Boone disclosing it to him. Boone's request for a further postponement was denied because the hearing officer determined Boone "admits to wrong doing." Boone had the assistance of counsel substitute but he declined to call any witnesses.
The hearing officer considered evidence of the investigator's statement, the record of the 433 phone calls, Boone's typed statement, the confidential SID investigative report and the telephone policy at the prison. The hearing officer found Boone guilty of .701 and sentenced him to fifteen days detention, ninety days administrative segregation, sixty days loss of commutation time, and 365 days loss of phone privileges. The reason the hearing officer gave for the discipline was to promote and maintain a safe drug-free environment because the phone calls Kidd made using Boone's IPIN were related to illegal activities involving money and drugs.
On June 29, 2011, Boone filed an administrative appeal claiming a violation of standards, misinterpretation of the facts, and violation of his due process rights because the hearing officer prohibited him from cross-examining the investigator. Boone also argued that he could not have been involved in any wrongdoing at NJSP given that he had been transferred to EJSP on September 25, 2007. The Assistant Superintendent upheld the decision of the hearing officer because Boone failed to state how a standard was ...