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Sweeney-Cunningham Bill Aiding Reentry of Former Offenders Now Law


Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Sandra Cunningham and former Governor Jim McGreevey issued the following statements on legislation, S-2331, signed into law assisting inmates in obtaining needed services when they are released from incarceration:

“This will offer former offenders a fair opportunity at a second chance by addressing the obstacles to their successful reentry into society,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “The barriers they encounter are even greater during the public health crisis we are now experiencing. Providing basic services can make a real difference in the lives of men and women who are returning to their families and communities as productive members of society.”

“This law will help to address the significant obstacles faced by state and county inmates in obtaining what can be life-sustaining benefits when they are released from incarceration, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Cunningham (D-Hudson). “One of the biggest barriers facing the reentry community upon release is lack of photo identification, which is needed to apply for general assistance, housing, or employment.”

“This law is critically important because it provides persons access to food stamps, General Assistance and Medicaid,” said McGreevey, the president of the NJ Re-Entry Corporation. “The law requires prisons to help returning citizens to complete the necessary applications for services while incarcerated. The practical reality is that they need services, like healthcare, in order to live and be successful upon release.”