How Reentry Coalition of New Jersey helps felons? – In the early 1990s, crime was at an all-time high, with more and more people indulging in criminal activities. The prisons filled up with convicted criminals for crimes like theft, murders, fights, etc. It became a problem, as people who got out would commit another crime.

The real reason behind this streak of crimes was society’s lack of acceptance of felons. However, the government realized that this was a significant problem and introduced several programs. The programs were introduced to better those who just got out of jail. The programs were designed to help felons familiarize themselves with society and start a new life.

These programs are theoretically sound and help felons in many ways. Nevertheless, these reentry programs look after people dealing with substance-related abuse and criminal practices. It is beneficial for them as creating awareness and learning regarding these problems reduces the chances of relapse.

How was Reentry Coalition formed in New Jersey?

Department of Institutions and Agencies division in New Jersey to create work-related programs. The motive of these programs was to work with the organization to create work opportunities for ex-offenders.

Under Reentry Coalition of New Jersey, the state has Residential Community Release Programs (RCRPs), which the Department of Corrections manages. These programs have a track record of successfully transitioning from prison to community. In addition, more than 8,000 individuals have participated in these residential community programs.

Programs under Reentry Coalition of New Jersey

RCRPs use multi-disciplinary professional staff members who understand behavior’s physiological and psychological elements. If a person out of prison is looked after, then the chances of relapse reduce considerably faster. Therefore, it results in a lower prison population and less monetary burden for the government.

While RCRPs offer community programs for felons, the New Jersey State Parole Board (NJSPB) connects with private agencies for reentry services. These services need referrals from NJSPB and their District Offices for a reentry program. Moreover, the non-residential programs are there for high-risk parole clients within the community. 

Another program under this is Stages to Enhance Parolee Success (STEPS). Under this program, the parolee gets residential programs and services that include life skill development. The parolees can get knowledge about job readiness skills, employment counseling, academic assistance, money management, and transitional support services.

RESAP or Re-entry Substance Abuse Program is another initiative that allows parolees to get familiar with the community. The program provides parolees the opportunity to serve in the community for a positive and smooth transition. RESAP operates with a comprehensive approach to substance addiction and includes relapse prevention.

Goals of Reentry Coalition of New Jersey

Reentry Coalition of New Jersey is operating in the field to improve the life of an ex-felon. They are committed to offender rehabilitation to cut down the number of prisoners in the jails. The organization aims to promote public safety through programs and services to felons.

The organization has been supportive of developing cost-effective alternatives that decrease the rate of incarceration. They have been building a network of organizations committed to improving community corrections and providing jobs. Therefore, the offender undergoes a treatment plan specifically made for them.

The offender needs to attend several transition programs from prison before transferring to a regular household. The level of programs depends on the risk involved in the operations. A person with a higher risk receives a higher level of supervision and service.

Once the program is complete, the offenders transfer to a secure or non-secure residential area. They live there for a period of 6 to 12 months. There is a slight difference between safe and non-secure residential areas. A secure facility has strict supervision and treatment for offenders assessed as a higher risk to the area. Non-secure has comparatively less charge, and an individual can immediately begin a job search or attend college.

Conclusion

Reentry Coalition of New Jersey (RCNJ) constantly offers new opportunities for prisoners. With their public and private sector job offerings and associations, the felons have a second chance at life. The RCNJ has helped reduce the prison population and create safer neighborhoods with decreased crime rates.

Moreover, such programs have also helped reduce the number of crimes related to substance abuse. More and more felons look forward to completing their time in prison and coming out to a new life. The general public has also started accepting these felons as a part of society.

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