The New Jersey Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) provides an opportunity for a carefully selected population of offenders, sentenced to state prison, to be released into the community.

Inmates are released under a rigorous form of community supervision that emphasizes control, monitoring, surveillance, and substance abuse or mental health treatment, when needed.

An experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the system and greatly improve your chances of being admitted into the ISP program.


Who Is Eligible?

  1. The applicant is not serving a sentence for a crime of violence.
  2. The applicant is not serving a parole disqualifier.
  3. The applicant is otherwise amenable to release into the community for the purpose of rehabilitation and there is a reasonable probability of his success in completing the program.

Program guidelines permit all persons sentenced to state prison to be eligible for program consideration except those applicants convicted of bribery, corrupt influence, a homicide, sex offenses, crimes of first-degree, robbery, or organized crime.

In addition, people convicted of second-degree offenses under the Misconduct/Abuse of Office statutes are ineligible. People who have failed Drug Court for violation of special probation and have been sentenced to state prison pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14 are ineligible. Those convicted of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (N.J.S.A. 2C:39 -5(h)) are also ineligible. If you are sentenced to a parole ineligibility (stip) you are eligible after that period has been satisfied.

When To Apply and How Soon Can I be Released if Accepted?

An applicant for ISP has to serve at least 60 days of their prison sentence before they may be considered for ISP. Many individuals serve six months before they are considered for release.

We recommend that you begin the ISP application process as soon as you are sentenced to prison.

Do I Have to Live in New Jersey to Be on ISP?

You must live in New Jersey, but if you don’t have a New Jersey residence, you should still apply. ISP might be able to find you a place to live. If you are not sure whether or not you are eligible, you are encouraged to apply and let the ISP staff determine whether you are eligible.

Who decides whether I get into ISP?

Your application will be reviewed by a screening board that might recommend your release to a
three-member panel of ISP judges. The judges make the final decision. If accepted by the judges,
you will be immediately released from prison.

How Do I Apply?

There is an application form available at all county jails and state prisons, which must be completed and sent to ISP.

Our experienced NJ criminal defense lawyers can help to make your application more persuasive. You will have an increased chance of acceptance, with a better opportunity for success, if you work with us to strongly advocate for your admission into ISP. We can help you prepare all of the background materials, line up references, and assist you to present your application in the best possible light. Our attorneys will trouble-shoot any problems that may arise during the application process.

Be sure to answer all questions, including who will be your community sponsor. If you do not have answers to all of the questions, send the application with as much information as you have.

How can I help get accepted?

If you are interviewed for ISP, you will be asked to write a plan explaining what you are going to do to help you avoid problems in the future. What you put in your plan is important. The people
reviewing your application will closely review your plan. You should be able to do the things you say you can do.

What happens if I get accepted?

You will be released from prison under the conditions of ISP. You will have to live up to all of the details in your plan. Whether you remain in the program depends on you. Your community sponsor and ISP officer will help you, but you must make sure that you fulfill your agreement.

What are the Expectations of ISP?

You must obtain a job within 30 days of your release from prison.

You must obey the 6 p.m. curfew until employed. The curfew can be changed to between 8 and 10 p.m. at the discretion of your ISP officer.

You must support your dependents and meet family responsibilities.

You must participate in treatment and counseling programs including AA, NA, and/or GA.

You must not leave New Jersey without permission from your ISP officer.

You must not carry any firearm or other weapons.

You must allow your ISP officer to visit your home and search you, or places or things under your control.

You must not use illegal drugs or alcohol, and submit to drug and/or alcohol testing as requested by your ISP officer.

You must pay all financial obligations imposed by the ISP Resentencing Panel or by other courts.

You must inform your employer you are on ISP within 30 days of finding a job.

You must not collect welfare assistance or unemployment insurance benefits without approval, nor may you borrow money without approval. The majority of ISP participants comply with these requirements; those who do not may be returned to prison.

You must realize that if you fail to meet these expectations and others that will be set by the Resentencing Panel, you might immediately be returned to prison. If you break any rule, you might be placed under more restrictions rather than being returned to prison. If you successfully meet the expectations of the program, certain privileges and extensions of your curfew will be permitted based on your performance.

How Long Will I Be on ISP?

If accepted into ISP, you can expect to be on the program for at least 16 months. If your original sentence was for more than five years, and/or if you violate any program expectation, you can expect to be under supervision for a longer period of time.

If you are looking for the right lawyer, contact Schwartz & Posnock to discuss your matter. Our attorneys have the experience, know-how, and expertise needed to work with you and favorably resolve your NJ state criminal case. Visit our website at to see our background, qualifications, and accomplishments. Then call us at 732-544-1460 or email us at