The New Jersey State Senate voted May 15 to approve Gov. Phil Murphy’s appointment of Samuel J. Plumeri, Jr. as chairman of the New Jersey State Parole Board.
A Hamilton resident, Plumeri had most recently been serving as acting chairman. He joined the State Parole Board in 2009.
As state parole board chairman, Plumeri oversees an organization that serves as the state’s lead reentry agency, working to ensure that ex-offenders return to society as law-abiding citizens. Additionally, he is charged with reducing the state’s recidivism rate, or the rate of a convicted criminal to re-offend. New Jersey’s recidivism rate has dropped to 31%, compared to the national average of 67.8%, making it one of the lowest in the country.
Prior to joining the state parole board, Plumeri served at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as superintendent of police and director of public safety. He joined the agency following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and faced the immediate challenge of providing safety and security for tens of millions of people who used the Port Authority’s network of transportation facilities each year in a post-9/11 world.
In 1990, Plumeri was elected Mercer County Sheriff. He developed and established the county’s first K9 bomb detection unit and countywide emergency response teams. Plumeri was re-elected sheriff in 1993, 1996 and 1999.
Prior to being elected sheriff, Plumeri was appointed Undersheriff of Mercer County, where he oversaw all training, special operations and special investigations. In 1989, he was promoted to First Undersheriff, a title he held until May 1990, when Gov. James J. Florio appointed him County Sheriff.
Plumeri began his law enforcement career with the Trenton Police Division. He served as an officer before eventually being promoted to the Special Services Unit. As an undercover operative, he removed millions of dollars of illegal narcotics from the streets and shut down high-level drug distributors. He later was assigned Chief of Intelligence to the Trenton-Mercer Organized Crime Strike Force.
Plumeri also is chairman of the board of directors of Capital Health. He is a graduate of Rider University, and lives in Hamilton with his wife, Barbara. He is the father of two grown children, Jessica and Matthew, and grandfather to Nina Rose and Samuel Joseph.
The New Jersey State Parole Board is committed to promoting public safety, utilizing effective methods to aid supervised offenders in reentering society and to reduce the recidivism of offenders while addressing the needs of crime victims. As required by law, appointed parole board members and staff conduct approximately 13,500 hearings per year, solicit input from victims, and decide upon parole matters. Nearly 400 sworn SPB parole officers supervise more than 15,500 offenders and act as New Jersey’s primary law enforcement agency responsible for sex offender supervision. Additionally, SPB officers are also active partners with a variety of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and task forces. Finally, the SPB’s Community Programs Unit partners with government, non-profit, and private agencies to connect former inmates with vocational, mental health, and related services.