Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney today participated in a legislative panel as part of a virtual conference hosted by the New Jersey Reentry Corporation to address the importance of reentry services as a key part of broader criminal justice reforms within the state.
“Reentry services have been a priority of mine for some time, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only further highlighted the challenges former offenders face in making the transition to life beyond incarceration,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “These services are more important than ever, as previously incarcerated individuals are now reentering an environment that is far different than ever before. We must acknowledge the trauma that comes with serving time in prison, while also ensuring we are properly preparing them for life outside of prison.”
The NJRC provides critically needed services to court-involved individuals to empower them to achieve healthy self-sufficiency, reducing recidivism and fostering safer communities. The recidivism rate for formerly-incarcerated individuals in New Jersey is 50 percent. The rate for NJRC clients is 20 percent.
“Senate President Steve Sweeney has been the cornerstone of our efforts for these many past years,” said Governor Jim McGreevey, the Chairman of the NJRC. “Everyday Senator Sweeney fights for second chances, working families, and persons that have come home from prison, jail, and addictive services.”
This year’s annual reentry conference – From Trauma to Triumph – put a focus on the trauma and psychological impact of imprisonment and the need for effective reentry services for these individuals. The NJRC provides clients with substance abuse treatment, structured sober housing, job training, employment opportunities, linkage to legal services and healthcare, as well as spiritual mentoring.