Department of Corrections Draft Administrative Rules Released
(Concord, NH) The New Hampshire Department of Corrections implemented interim rules and now has proposed a revision of updated rules for consideration by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR). As a part of the JLCAR procedures, a public hearing has been scheduled on the Department’s draft Administrative Rules for the second week in January 2018. The Department is required by statute to adopt administrative rules pursuant to RSA 541-A. Interim Rules were effective September 29, 2017 and must be permanently revised by March 28, 2018.
An administrative rule is a regulation, standard, or form as defined by New Hampshire statute or other statement of general applicability adopted by an agency to implement, interpret, or make specific a statute enforced or administered by the agency or interpret an agency policy, procedure or practice requirement binding on persons inside or outside the agency, as long as they do not affect private rights or change the substance of rules binding upon the public.
New Hampshire state statute (RSA 21-H: 13) cites the administrative rules that must be adopted by the Department and approved by JLCAR. These include the standards for the management and operation of all state correctional facilities, administration of the institutions and other facilities under Departmental control, and administration of the Secure Psychiatric Unit as required to provide for effective treatment for persons found to be dangerous to themselves or others and committed or transferred pursuant to statute to an environment which provides for safety and security for the public, the staff, and those committed.
The statute defines the Commissioner’s authority to adopt standards for the management and operation of rehabilitation related programs, including, but not limited to classification, diagnosis, education, casework, counseling, therapy, vocational training, guidance, work, including the terms and conditions of work release, and the library.
Other standards that need JLCAR approval include healthcare services inclusive of areas such as dental care, pharmaceutical deliver and dietary services provided at correctional facilities. The Department is required to have administrative rules regarding payment and collection of all fees for which the Department is responsible, and the activities of visitors to all institutions and facilities of the department.
The Department will have staff available from multiple areas of the Department during the public hearing to be responsive to the feedback shared by members of the public who join us in making recommendations as well as asking questions about the proposed draft rules.
The public hearing will be January 12, 2018 at 3:00 pm in the conference hall of the Brown Building, Governor Hugh Gallen State Office Complex, 129 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH. The Department of Corrections applications were published on page 12 of the New Hampshire Rulemaking Register and can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/register/2017/december-21-17.pdf.
Copies of the draft rules can be found at https://www.nh.gov/nhdoc/documents/draftrules2017.htm.