U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker To Deliver Remarks At Newark Prisoner Re-Entry Court Graduation
NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker will deliver remarks this afternoon at the third graduation hosted by the “ReNew” court, a partnership among the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Federal Public Defender’s Office, and the U.S. Probation Office designed to help ex-offenders recently released from federal custody successfully reintegrate into society.
The event being held in Newark at the Frank R. Lautenberg Post Office and Courthouse, Courtroom 1 at 3:00 p.m.
ReNew, which stands for “re-entry into Newark,” is New Jersey’s first federal re-entry court in New Jersey. It provides participants with close supervision and tangible support services including job placement and training, education, treatment, and counseling. It also gives participants access to a network of support services for housing, identification, driving privileges, child support, and other domestic, health or legal issues that affect successful re-entry into society.
ReNew holds annual graduations for program participants who have successfully completed 52 weeks of rigorous requirements. Since 2013, ReNew has hosted two graduations and will hold its third today. As of today, there are approximately 60 federal re-entry courts around the country.
“Equipping reentrants with the right tools and support during and after their incarceration can help break the cycle of recidivism that traps so many of their peers,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “Today, we celebrate the hard work and commitment of the graduates. We also recognize the tireless efforts of our federal partners whose passion and dedication continue to give those returning from federal prison a second chance. It’s inspiring work and I’m proud that my office is leading it.”
Today’s event comes at the end of National Reentry Week, a nationwide undertaking started by the Obama Administration and the Justice Department to raise awareness about the urgency of re-entry issues and highlight efforts to reduce recidivism and help formerly incarcerated individuals compete for jobs, attain stable housing, and support their families. As part of National Reentry Week, the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey (USAO NJ), has hosted a number of events, including:
April 21, 2016 – In collaboration with the U.S. District Court and U.S. Probation Office, USAO NJ hosted a resource and employment fair in Camden, New Jersey, that connected employers with ex-offenders who are looking for jobs.
April 25, 2016 – U.S. Attorney Fishman, U.S. Chief of Probation Willie Torres, ReNew Graduate Amare Terrell, and U.S. Federal Judges Noel Hillman and Karen Williams participated in a stakeholder’s panel at FCI Fairton to discuss what to expect upon release from incarceration, available resources for ex-offenders, common missteps, best practices to ensure successful re-entry, and how families can provide support.
April 26, 2016 – USAO NJ and housing specialists with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave a presentation at the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials to reinforce HUD and White House guidance on how arrests and convictions should be used when screening individuals for public housing eligibility.
April 27, 2016 – In collaboration with the U.S. District Court, U.S. Probation, and Essex County College, USAO NJ hosted a re-entry technology seminar, for individuals whose terms of incarceration prevented them from developing computer and internet skills.
April 29, 2016 – Earlier today, USAO NJ, in collaboration with New Ark Farms (an urban farm in Newark that primarily hires ex-offenders) the U.S. District Court, the Federal Public Defender’s Office, and the U.S. Probation Office hosted an employer breakfast to discuss available jobs for ex-offenders and ways that the ReNew team can alleviate any concerns about hiring them.
Each year, more than 600,000 citizens return to their neighborhoods after serving time in federal and state prisons. Nationally, two out of every three people released from state prisons are rearrested for a new offense and about half are re-incarcerated within three years. The long-term impact of a criminal record prevents many of these individuals from obtaining employment, housing, higher education, and credit – and these barriers affect returning individuals even if they are unlikely to reoffend.
The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and Bureau of Prisons are hosting hundreds of events in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including job fairs and resource fairs, mock interview sessions, resume workshops, family engagement events. In addition, the Justice Department announced its “Roadmap to Reentry,” outlining five evidence-based principles of reform to be implemented by the Bureau of Prisons to ensure DOJ’s commitment to re-entry is incorporated throughout incarceration – from intake to release.