The Reentry Coalition of New Jersey is always happy to answer any questions you may have. Here are some of the questions we most often hear.
Q: What resources are available to assist an individual returning to the community from prison in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) contracts with a number of private agencies to operate Residential Community Release Programs (RCRPs) throughout the state. The RCRPs provide an array of reentry services to inmates prior to release including evidence-based treatment services, case management and employment assistance. The NJ State Parole Board also provides an array of services to individuals on parole including residential treatment facilities and non-residential Community Resource Centers (CRCs) designed to support the successful reentry of individuals returning to the community from incarceration.
Q: What is the difference between parole and probation?
Parole is the period of supervision in the community that occurs after incarceration and continues until the expiration of the sentence. Probation is a period of supervision in the community that is an alternative to incarceration and continues until the imposed probationary term is completed. Violations of the terms of both parole and probation can result in revocation and incarceration.
Q: What employment assistance services are available to individuals returning to the community?
Each county in New Jersey has a One-Stop Career Center that provides comprehensive employment services to individuals seeking employment including the ex-offender population. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development has partnered with the New Jersey Department of Corrections to bring Workforce Learning Link resources into prisons and half-way facilities. Services include: Career Navigation Assistance / Counseling; re-employment orientation; English as a Second Language (ESL) classes; resume assistance; High School Equivalency (HSE) preparation; tuition waiver services; interviewing assistance; and JerseyJob Club workshops.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) in collaboration with the State Parole Board (SPB) provides employment assistance through the Parolee Employment Placement Program (PEPP) is to increase opportunities for the employment of parolees; and to reduce the likelihood of a parolee committing additional crimes.
Q: What resources are available to provide housing assistance to individuals reentering the community from prison or jail?
The NJ State Parole Board provides limited temporary emergency housing to homeless offenders on parole. County Boards of Social Services provide emergency housing assistance (EA) to homeless individuals who meet the eligibility requirements but there are exclusions for individuals with certain types of criminal convictions including sexual offenses and drug sales and distribution. There are several reentry initiatives currently funded through the NJ Department of Community Affairs (NJ DCA) that provide limited housing assistance to individuals released from county jails and those who max out from the NJ prison system.