Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $999,414)
The New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC), and its Office of Juvenile Parole and Transitional Services (JPATS), will establish a continuum of transitional reentry services for high risk juvenile offenders and their families. JJC will pilot the continuum in Camden County, NJ. Camden County is selected as the pilot site because: of NJ's 21 counties, it sentences the largest number of juveniles to JJC; it is one of NJ's most violent counties; it is confronted with and victimized by substantial gang issues; and the city of Camden is one of the nation's poorest cities.
The goal of this project is to reduce the number of juveniles discharged from JJC custody who are subsequently re-incarcerated due to technical violations of parole or probation. This goal will be achieved by establishing a multistage transitional reentry continuum of services which will permit juveniles to transition home from custody through a gradual, purposeful parole or probation step-down (i.e., decompression) process. The achievement of this goal will provide an opportunity for JJC to demonstrate, through the use of best practices, the benefits that would be realized by adopting a statewide policy leading to systemic reform of the way NJ releases juveniles from JJC's custody. Specifically, JJC hopes to demonstrate that fewer juveniles will technically violate the conditions of their release from custody and be reincarcerated by requiring them to transition from custody to home and to their communities through a continuum of services that begin prior to release, continue through parole or probation in a gradual, purposeful, step-down (i.e., decompression) reentry process. This initiative will be piloted in Camden County. This initiative will work to stabilize families during the reunification process and assist and support local communities as they re-absorb returning parolees or probationers into their neighborhoods because the offenders will be less likely to re-victimize the community. CA/NCF