State of New Jersey
Department of Corrections
"Protecting Public Safety by Changing Offender Behavior"
                         Victoria L. Kuhn, Esq.

Office of Transitional Services

The goal of the Office of Transitional Services is to implement a seamless continuum of care for offenders utilizing cost-effective, proven practices system-wide that increase offenders’ abilities and motivation to practice responsible, crime-free behavior. The Office of Transitional Services has oversight over the transitional and social services programs within the department. The office has developed partnerships with federal, state and local agencies for creating linkages to resources that provide support to returning offenders.

Our vision is that every offender released from prison will be prepared to reenter society as a productive, law-abiding citizen of New Jersey.

Our mission is to enhance public safety by reducing the risk that offenders will reoffend and return to prison by providing comprehensive services from the time they enter prison through their reintegration back into society.

Thinking for a Change (T4C)
Thinking for a Change (T4C). T4C is a 10-week cognitive-behavioral program, endorsed by the National Institute of Corrections as a best practice approach for reducing recidivism. T4C is the cognitive behavioral change program adopted by the department for cognitive behavioral change. Participants attend T4C twice a week for 90 minutes per session for ten weeks.

Successful Transition and Reentry Series (STARS)
Office of Transitional Services developed and implemented the Successful Transition and Reentry Series (STARS) program. STARS is a 12-week release preparatory program designed to address each major reentry barrier faced by the returning offender. Chapters include employment, housing, transportation, education, family reunification, finances, and others. The STARS curriculum also includes an inmate workbook titled Living on the Outside. STARS course provides offenders nearing their release, a structured and detailed approach to addressing each major re-entry barrier that ex-offenders face when returning to community life. Participants attend STARS twice a week for two hours per group session for twelve weeks.

Cage Your Rage (CYR)
Cage Your Rage is endorsed by the American Correctional Association (ACA) as a best practice program designed to help offenders recognize their angry feelings, learn their cause, and deal with them in a responsible way. Participants attend CYR once a week for ninety minutes per group session for ten weeks. Cage Your Rage utilizes a gender-responsive approach through the use of curriculums that are specifically designed for men (CYR-men) and for women (CYR-women).

Successful Employment through Lawful Living and Conflict Management (SEALL)
SEALL is a continuation of the STARS program with a specific focus on maintaining employment. Participants learn how to maintain pro-social behavior at work when conflict occurs on the job. Participants attend SEALL once a week for 90 minutes per session for six weeks.

Helping Offenders Parent Effectively (HOPE)
Helping Offenders Parent Effectively is endorsed by the American Correctional Association (ACA) as a best practice program. Offenders who learn to be better parents can help reduce these risks and have positive effects on their children's lives. Research shows that inmates who learn to become better parents are less likely to return to prison and that their children adjust better when they are reunited. The goal of HOPE is to enable offenders to see the importance of accepting responsibility for their children and increase their ability to be self-sufficient by beginning to take control of your life. Participants attend HOPE once a week for 90 minutes per session for ten weeks. H.O.P.E. utilizes a gender-responsive approach through the use of curriculums that are specifically designed for fathers (HOPE-men) and for mothers (HOPE-Women).

Family Reunification and Transition (FRAT)
FRAT empowers the offenders with skills to help them develop a plan for rebuilding family relationships that may have been damaged as a result of their incarceration and aids in helping them to understand the expectations set by their family members for when they return home

Joint Comprehensive Assessment Plan (J-CAP)
J-CAP is a three-part electronic assessment completed by staff to aid in case management and discharge planning practices. The four parts are: Intake Assessment, Progress Review, Pre-release Interview, and Discharge Plan. J-CAP was developed as an electronic system that allows the NJDOC to enter, update and review inmate information in an electronic data bank. The implementation of J-CAP across the state will standardize many social service practices and forms and will assist in the coordination of information shared between institutional departments and across state agencies. J-CAP was implemented in 2009 statewide.

Release Transportation Assistance
NJ DOC has formal procedures to ensure that offenders leaving the custody of the department are afforded the opportunity to purchase discount NJ transit bus and rail tickets. Prior to their release from custody, every inmate is interviewed and offered the opportunity to purchase bus or rail tickets to aid in their transition into the community. Ticket prices are subject to change as set by the NJ Transit.

Get Your Vote Back Initiative
The goal of the initiative is to inform offenders of their legal right to vote once their sentence has expired. Offenders leaving custody receive a voter registration kit prior to their release from custody.

Who Am I?
The goal of the initiative is to inform assist offenders with obtaining the social security card and birth certificates prior to release. Under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Social Security Administration, the department can assist offenders with obtaining a duplicate social security card. Strict federal guidelines apply therefore offenders are required to contact the social services department in their assigned facility to see if they qualify. Offenders can also receive assistance with applying to their birth certificates (all applicable fees apply). In addition to addressing issues pertaining to SSN Cards and birth certificates all NJDOC offenders are released with a temporary NJDOC ID card which they can use towards obtaining formal state identification.

Providing Re-Entry Public Assistance Resource Education (P.R.E.P.A.R.E.)
This service focuses on educating the offender on post release services that are available at their County Board of Social Services agency which include NJ SNAP, Work First NJ, and Emergency Assistance. In an effort to ensure no one is overlooked, each County Board of Social Services will receive a monthly listing of offenders who will be released in the upcoming month who have indicated their plan to visit the agency for assistance. Once released, the offender will follow up with the County Board of Social Services to interview for eligibility determination for these assistance programs.

In addition, OTS assists offenders in applying for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Offenders complete the NJ Family Care application or the Healthcare Marketplace application (if they plan to reside outside of New Jersey) 30 days prior to their release. OTS staff forwards the application to the respective healthcare agency on the day of their release. The healthcare agency will follow up with the applicant post-release to continue the application process. The NJ Family Care and Health Insurance Marketplace applications are located in the Fair Release and Reentry Act 2009 link, NJ Family Care tab.

OTS also provides pre-release interviews 3-6 months prior to an offender’s release for Veterans Benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance/Supplemental Security Income. The interviews will determine eligibility.

  • Security Disability Insurance/Supplemental Security Income interviews are conducted for those with severe medical and/or mental health illnesses by a representative of the Social Security Administration.
  • Veterans Benefit interviews are conducted by a representative of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

New Jersey Reentry Corporation Services for Pandemic Clients

New Jersey Reentry Corporation Services During COVID-19

New Jersey Resources 2020-2021

Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers

Affordable Care Act Facts- Corrections Today

Sesame Street Little Children Big Challenges

Sesame Street In my family story book

The County Smart Book is a resource guide for social services staff and offenders returning to a New Jersey County created by the NJDOC Office of Transitional Services. The guide is designed to provide basic information and contacts to facilitate community reentry and serves a dual purpose: 1) to help New Jersey Department of Corrections with pre-release planning for inmates; and 2) to serve as a continuing reference for individuals after their release from prison. The design and printing of the County Smart Book was supported through various state & grant sources. The guides were printed and distributed to each NJDOC social service department throughout its 12 correctional facilities.

The Atlantic County Smart book (2020)

The Bergen County Smart Book (2019)

The Monmouth & Ocean County Smart Book (2020)

The Somerset & Hunterdon County Smart Book (2020)

The Essex County Smart Book (2019)

The Camden County Smart Book (2019)

The Mercer County Smart Book (2019)

The Passaic County Smart Book (2019)

The Union County Smart Book (2019)

The Middlesex County Smart Book (2020)

The Hudson County Smart Book (2019)

The Atlantic County Smart Book (2020)

The Burlington County Smart Book (2019)

The Gloucester County Smart Book (2019)

Understanding the NJDOC Prison System A Resource Guide for Family Members of the Incarcerated
Incarceration is often a difficult time for inmates, their families and friends. There are usually many questions about the rules and regulations governing the operation of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) that relatives and friends want answered. To provide this information the Office of Transitional Services has prepared a resource guide titled Understanding the NJDOC Prison System designed to help answer general questions that one may have regarding inmates sentenced to New Jersey’s prison system. The guide was developed under the premise that when people have information, they are better able to handle new experiences and make informed choices.

What About Me? When a Parent Goes to Prison A guide to discussing your incarceration with your children
Many of the men and women currently incarcerated are parents of children under the age of 18. It is estimated that 1.7 million children have a father in prison and 200,000 children have a mother in prison in the United States. Approximately ten million, or one in eight children, have experienced parental incarceration at some point of their lives. The link between generations is so strong, that half of all juveniles in custody had a father, mother, or other close relative who has been in jail or prison.

The What About Me guide is designed to help children, and families and caregivers, who have a mother, father, or close family member who is incarcerated. When children and families receive accurate information, they can better understand and cope with some of the stress they may experience when a relative goes to prison. This guide is also designed to encourage open and honest communication between children and adults.

New Jersey Department of Children and Families Visits

The parent-child relationship is an integral part of the healthy development of a child. The ability for an incarcerated parent to sustain a health relationship with their child(ren) is vital to family stability and crucial to the incarcerated parents’ successful re-entry into society.

The New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC), is committed to ensuring that child(ren) and the incarcerated parent are able to maintain healthy relationships through supervised visitation.

Should you have any questions about the supervised parent-child visitation program, please contact the Office of Transitional Services.

NJDOC VISIT PROGRAM Infant items allowed into the facility

New Jersey Department of Corrections Department of Children and Families (DCF) Visit Request Form

There are many obstacles offenders may face when making the transition from a correctional facility to their community. The Fair Release and Reentry Act (FRARA) of 2009 is intended to provide those ex-offenders exiting with a comprehensive information packet to aid in their successful reintegration into society. On the day of release, every inmate leaving the custody of the New Jersey Department of Corrections will receive a FRARA Portfolio containing information that may be beneficial to their reentry.

The FRARA portfolio includes a temporary release photo ID, duplicate social security card*, birth certificate*, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Non-Driver Photo ID* , final discharge paperwork, a copy of current criminal charges, the remaining account balance, final trust account statement, and a medical records summary. Where applicable, releasing inmates may also be provided with notification of active warrants/detainers, NJ Transit Bus Tickets (if purchased), any necessary medical referrals, and a two-week supply of medication. Information is also provided on the Right to Vote, Records Expungement process, Child Support/Custody, community-based resources, and NJ State Parole Board Certificate of Rehabilitation application.

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* where eligible

IRS Documents
Date of creation Title Developed by:
6-2011 Prisoner Re-Entry Tax Education Program Fact Sheet Department of Treasury-IRS
4-2011 The Life Cycle Brochure Department of Treasury-IRS
4-2011 The Life Cycle Series Department of Treasury-IRS
Motor Vehicle Commission
CDL Manual-English
Driver Manual-English
6 Point ID Brochure
*** Spanish versions are available at DMV agencies

Parole Handbook
Date of creation Title Developed by:
5th ed. Adult Parole Handbook-English NJ State Parole Board
5th ed. Adult Parole Handbook-Spanish NJ State Parole Board
11/2014 Expunge Kit NJ Judiciary
6-2014 Certificate of Good Conduct NJ State Parole Board

Other Resources
Date of creation Title Developed by:
on-going Family Success Centers in New Jersey NJ Department of Children and Families
3-2012 Helping Arms Brochure Helping Arms
2010 Newark Re-entry Programs Brochure City of Newark Community Engagement
5-2010 New Jersey Rehabilitated Convicted Offenders Act State of New Jersey
6-2010 NJDOC-OTS Community Resources Listing-all counties NJDOC
7-2011 Re-entry Myth Busters National Reentry Resource Center
9-2011 Nehemiah Group Brochure Nehemiah Group
9-2014 How To Apply for NJ SNAP New Jersey Department of Human Services
5-2015 Opportunity to Compete Law  
5-2015 Department of Labor compliant form MW-31C  
1-2014 Benefits for NJ Residents with Drug Convictions Drug Policy Alliance
6-2016 2016 Benefits for Veterans & Dependents Handbook  
1-2017 Elizabeth Municipal ID Program:
     EMID Application
     FAQ Sheet
8/21/2017 Free NJ Birth Certificates from Office of Vital Statistics NJ Division of Family Development
7/20/2021 The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper
Smart Books
Date of creation Title Developed by:
2022 Atlantic County NJDOC
2022 Bergen County NJDOC
2022 Burlington County NJDOC
2022 Camden County NJDOC
2022 Essex County NJDOC
2022 Gloucester County NJDOC
2022 Hudson County NJDOC
2022 Mercer County NJDOC
2022 Middlesex County NJDOC
2022 Monmouth/Ocean County NJDOC
2022 Passaic County NJDOC
2022 Somerset/Hunterdon County NJDOC
2022 Union County NJDOC
Employment & Training
Date of creation Title Developed by:
2012 J4J On Ramp-10 page introduction NJ Labor and Workforce Development
2012 J4J On Ramp Overview NJ Labor and Workforce Development
on-going Camden Training Opportunity Flyer Camden County Hospitality Training Institute
2011 Environmental Training Program Flyer Camden County College
3-2012 HI-TECH Training School Advertisement Hi-Tech Training School
6-2016 Plainfield Reconnections Sample Client Activity Schedule  
6-2016 Elizabeth Reconnections Sample Client Activity Schedule  

Child Support
Date of creation Title Developed by:
2010 Child Support Hearing Brochure Administrative Office of the Courts
4-2011 Basics of Child Support in New Jersey Rutgers University-School of Social Work
4-2011 Child Support FAQ NJ Child Support Institute
on-going Child Support  
2012 Div. of Disability Svcs Resources Department of Human Services-Div. of Disability Services
Voter Registration
Date of creation Title Developed by:
2020 Ex-Offender Voter Restore Handbook NJ Department of State
2020 Voter Reg Application English – update 9/30/20 NJ Department of State
2020 Voter Reg Application Spanish – update 9/30/20 NJ Department of State

Health Care
NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid – Information and online application
NJ FamilyCare post-release follow-up instructions (revised 03/2024)
GetCoveredNJ – for people who don’t qualify for NJ FamilyCare
Date of creation Title Developed by:
8-2010 DHS Social Services and Housing Guide Document NJ Department of Human Services
8-2010 DHS Social Services and Housing Guide NJ Department of Human Services