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NJ prisoners may be offered Hep B, C testing, help with applying for government subsidies

Ashley Balcerzak | January 28, 2020 | North Jersey Record |


New Jersey wants to make it easier for inmates leaving jail or prison to re-acclimate to society and receive necessary health care, as well as try to prevent them from ending up behind bars again.

A Senate committee advanced a package of eight bills Monday that deal with social services, medical testing, drug abuse support and other measures that would help prisoners re-entering society be more prepared.

Close to 9,000 people were released from state custody in 2019, and 18,400 people are currently housed in state correctional facilities, halfway houses and county jails, according to data from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

“There are so many daunting tasks” for people leaving prison, said Jada Fulmore, director of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation Paterson, a nonprofit that helps people leaving prison. “If they have medical conditions and ailments, there’s no way they can function. Hepatitis, diabetes, HIV. You name it. And they have no idea that they have these conditions. So to inform them, to educate them, so they can get ahead of the game and start on their next chapter of life.”

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