[First Reprint]

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 reported by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on May 16, 2024, with amendments.

  


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

 

Whereas, The vast majority of 1[people] individuals1 currently serving sentences in 1[New Jersey prisons and jails] State and county correctional facilities1 will transition into communities throughout the State when they 1[leave] are released from1 incarceration; and

Whereas, Formerly incarcerated individuals face numerous challenges that include finding work, housing, healthcare, addiction treatment, mental health 1treatment1, 1and1 transportation, 1[and] in addition to1 reuniting with family, which can lead to recidivism1[,] and1 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 1[people] individuals1 from pursuing healthy and productive lives when they return to communities after serving time in 1[prison or in jail] correctional facilities1; and

Whereas, The New Jersey Reentry Services Commission (RSC) is charged with examining issues 1[relating] related1 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 20191,1 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 1[relating] related1 to women prisoner reentry including, but not limited to1[:] ,1 identifying physical and psychological hardships endured while incarcerated that may impede successful reentry1[;] , identifying1 specific services that are necessary for successful reentry 1[;] , identifying1 current obstacles to female prisoners receiving these services1[;] ,1 and proposing solutions to remove these obstacles; and

Whereas, In 2020 1,1 the CRSW released a report that offered more than 70 recommendations for how to improve the lives of women being released 1from incarceration1 with a focus on employment, healthcare, housing, family reunification, and domestic violence; and

Whereas, Local reentry 1[councils] organizations1, community1[,]1 and 1[faith based] faith-based1 organizations, and 1[others] other organizations1 across New Jersey play key roles in providing resources for formerly incarcerated 1[people] individuals1; 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 1[those]1 efforts 1to provide assistance and resources to formerly incarcerated individuals1; and

Whereas, 1[Communities throughout the] Public officials and citizens of this1 State are encouraged to observe Reentry Week 1with appropriate activities and programs1; 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 1[those]1 efforts 1to provide assistance and resources to formerly incarcerated individuals1.

 

     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.