SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 97

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 4, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex and Hudson)

Senator  ANGELA V. MCKNIGHT

District 31 (Hudson)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Designates last week of April of each year as “Reentry Week.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Joint Resolution designating the last week in April of each year as “Reentry Week.”

 

Whereas, The vast majority of people currently serving sentences in New Jersey prisons and jails will transition into communities throughout the State when they leave incarceration; and

Whereas, Formerly incarcerated individuals face numerous challenges that include finding work, housing, healthcare, addiction treatment, mental health, transportation, and reuniting with family, which can lead to recidivism, health, safety, and social concerns; and

Whereas, Federal, State, and local leaders recognize these challenges and are working on policies and programs focused on removing the barriers that prevent formerly incarcerated people from pursuing healthy and productive lives when they return to communities after serving time in prison or in jail; and

Whereas, The New Jersey Reentry Services Commission (RSC) is charged with examining issues relating to prisoner reentry, including, but not limited to, identifying specific services that are necessary for successful reentry, identifying current obstacles to inmates receiving these services, and proposing solutions to remove these obstacles; and

Whereas, In 2019 the RSC released a report that offered 100 practical action steps to improve the lives of those being released from prison, with a focus on addiction treatment, healthcare, legal issues, and employment training; and

Whereas, The Commission on Reentry Services for Women (CRSW) is charged with examining issues relating to women prisoner reentry including, but not limited to: identifying physical and psychological hardships endured while incarcerated that may impede successful reentry; specific services that are necessary for successful reentry; current obstacles to female prisoners receiving these services; and proposing solutions to remove these obstacles; and

Whereas, In 2020 the CRSW released a report that offered more than 70 recommendations for how to improve the lives of women being released with a focus on employment, healthcare, housing, family reunification, and domestic violence; and

Whereas, Local reentry councils, community, and faith based organizations, and others across New Jersey play key roles in providing resources for formerly incarcerated people; and

Whereas, Reentry Week provides an opportunity to raise public awareness about the challenges that formerly incarcerated individuals face and to encourage organizations, including State agencies, to support those efforts; and

Whereas, Communities throughout the State are encouraged to observe Reentry Week; now, therefore,

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The last week of April of each year is designated as “Reentry Week” to raise public awareness about the challenges that formerly incarcerated individuals face and to encourage organizations, including State agencies, to support those efforts.

 

     2.    The Governor may issue each year a proclamation calling upon public officials and citizens of this State to observe the week with appropriate activities and programs.

 

     3.    This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This joint resolution declares the last week of April of each year as “Reentry Week” to raise public awareness about the challenges that formerly incarcerated individuals face and to encourage organizations, including State agencies, to support those efforts.

     Reentry Week dedicates a week to remind New Jersey communities and citizens of the importance of supporting those who have been incarcerated; and have served out their sentences so that they may be productive members of our society.