TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Ronald L. Rice and the late Senator Glenn D. Cunningham, D-Hudson, that would establish the “Inmate Education and Vocational Training Study Commission,” received final legislative approval today from the Assembly.
“This measure would allow State inmates the opportunity to receive the best possible educational and vocational training possible, which I am hoping would, in turn, help drastically cut the rates of recidivism,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “This Commission would examine current programs and make the policy and training changes to help ensure that when inmates are released, they are able to find gainful employment, and do not end up back in prison.”
The bill, S-70, would establish the Training Study Commission, which would be charged with the task of evaluating the current educational and vocational programs being used in New Jersey’s adult and juvenile correctional facilities. The Commission would then be directed to analyze the effects of the programs on inmate rehabilitation and recidivism statistics, after which they would use their findings to recommend any necessary program changes.
The 19- member Commission would consist of the State’s Commissioners of Correction, Education, Human Services and Labor; four legislators ,one from each caucus; a representative of the Judiciary; the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Commission; the Chairman of the State Parole Board; a representative of the county prosecutors, appointed by the Attorney General; an ordained clergyman; two representatives of statewide organizations of business; three representatives of statewide organizations of educators; and one representative of vocational or trade schools. The bill would require the members of the commission to be appointed within 90 days of its enactment.
It now heads the Governor’s desk, where his signature would make it State law.