Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $430,349)
The Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI) is designed to provide funding to state units of government to develop and implement institutional and community corrections-based offender reentry programs. The PRI strengthens urban communities characterized by large numbers of returning offenders. The PRI is designed to reduce recidivism by helping returning offenders find work and assess other critical services in their communities. The PRI supports strategies to deliver pre- and post-release assessments and services, and to develop transition plans in collaboration with other justice and community-based agencies and providers for supervised and non-supervised offenders.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC), in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD), will develop a comprehensive prisoner reentry project, called the Camden Offender Reentry Program (CORP). The primary target population for the CORP will be adult offenders under supervision of the NJDOC who will be released to Camden County. These offenders represent a group that is typically undereducated, lacks marketable vocational skills, and often suffers from drug addiction, mental illness, and communicable diseases.
All eligible offenders who are within 12-15 months of their parole eligibility or maximum expiration date, will be interviewed for participation into the CORP. A NJDOC multidisciplinary team (MDT), consisting of social services, education, classification, custody, administration, and mental health professionals, will prepare an individualized comprehensive service plan. Selected offenders will participate in programming specific to their risk and reentry needs. The service plan will include comprehensive academic and vocational programming. Specialized services, such as mental health and substance abuse treatment, will be available based on the risk/need identified in the assessments. Other services will include community resources, such as Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), faith-based mentoring, and chaplaincy services.
Grant funds will support; (1)the hiring of project staff (social workers, employment counselors, a teacher, and grants analyst); (2) travel to conferences and training workshops; (3) office equipment and classroom supplies; and (4) competitive subgrants to community and faith-based organizations for provision of supportive services.