The Nicholson Foundation
Returning offenders face numerous barriers upon release and those who are chronically mentally ill, elderly and afflicted with major disabilities are especially challenged. Research suggests that having income and medical supports in place prior to release can contribute to positive post-release outcomes for prisoners, including reduced recidivism. Grant initiatives with the Nicholson Foundation include:
Providing Re-Entry Pre-qualification And
Referrals for Ex-Offenders (P.R.E.P.A.R.E.) 2007-2012
This initiative focuses on assisting eligible offenders with preparing and submitting applications for post-release benefits.
Six months prior to the offender's release date eligible offenders can have an interview with the Social Security Administration for Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI/SSDI) and with Veterans Affairs for Veterans services programs. The pre-release interview will determine program and/or benefit eligibility.
Offenders who are interested in assistance from the County Boards of Social Services for Food Stamps, General Assistance and Medicaid Reinstatement can also have referrals made to the agency 30 days prior to release. Once released, the offender will follow up with the County Boards of Social Services for an interview for eligibility determination for these assistance programs.
Watch the video:
"VA Support for Incarcerated Veterans"
Project F.I.R.M. (Female Integration and Reentry Management) 2008-2010
FIRM provides an LSI-R assessment and develops a comprehensive discharge summary and makes referrals for offenders housed at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women to the State Parole Boards’ FORGE Coordinator. The grant services are for those female offenders returning to Essex, Mercer and Camden counties.
Project J.O.I.N. (Jobs 4 Offenders In Newark) 2008-2010
Project JOIN is a pre-release employment centered reentry referral program for non violent offenders returning specifically to the city of Newark from Northern State Prison. Offender participants will receive a comprehensive transition plan and linkage to a Newark community based organization (CBO) for employability training upon release. Through the CBO participants will receive academic and vocational assessments, workforce preparation, employment placement and retention services, mentoring services, linkages to education and job training and computer training and access.
Presidential Prisoner Reentry Initiative 2006
Project R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (Reentry Employment Service
Program Enhancing Community Transition) 2006-2008
In 2006 the New Jersey Department of Corrections, Office of Transitional Services was awarded a grant, from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance for the PRI-06 Project RESPECT. The project targets non-violent offenders returning to Atlantic and Essex Counties released from Northern State Prison, Bayside State Prison, Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility and Riverfront State Prison. Project RESPECT is designed to reduce recidivism through the increased use of pre-release transitional planning, the provision of pre-release assessments and services, and the provision of post release services by community providers. The PRI-06 is a joint initiative between the department and community providers Career Opportunity Development Incorporated and Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and New Jersey which both received grant funds through the US Department of Labor for this initiative. The ultimate goal of Project RE$PECT is to promote self-sufficiency through employment.
Presidential Prisoner Reentry Initiative 2007
Camden Offender Reentry Project
In 2007 the New Jersey Department of Corrections, Office of Transitional Services was awarded the Presidential Prisoner Reentry Initiative PRI 07 from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. Project CORP (Camden Offender Reentry Project) targets non-violent offenders returning to Camden. CORP is designed to reduce recidivism through the increased use of pre-release transitional planning, the provision of pre-release assessments and services, and the provision of post release services by community providers. Collaborating state partners include the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Office of The Secretary of State.
Previous Grants Awarded
Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) 2004-2007
SVORI is a federally funded joint initiative between the NJDOC, the State Parole Board (SPB) and the Juvenile Justice Commission designed to target serious and violent offenders. The program provides transitional programming, coordinated and comprehensive discharge planning and aftercare services for serious and violent offenders ages 14-35 returning to Camden County and Essex County. Coordinated case management was established across the department, the SPB and the community through the Greater Newark Safer Cities Initiative and Camden Safer Cities Initiative.
BYRNE Foundation-Discharge Planning Unit (DPU) 2004-2006
The Discharge Planning Unit (DPU) offers comprehensive discharge planning for inmates who will leave custody at their maximum sentence completion date and return to Essex County. The DPU is supported through a federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grant received from the Bureau of Justice Assistance through the NJ Department of Law and Public Safety. The DPU has operates out of Northern State Prison and East Jersey State Prison.