FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June, 9, 2015
Ziad Andrew Shehady Operations Manager
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno attends walk through of new Hudson County Community Resource Center for parolees
Jersey City, New Jersey – Lt. Governor of New Jersey Kim Guadagno gave remarks at the walk through ceremony for the new facility for parolees in Hudson County, the Sacred Heart Community Resource Center (CRC). The CRC, which is located in the renovated Dominion Priory of the Sacred Heart Church at 183 Bayview Avenue, was launched in partnership with the New Jersey State Parole Board (NJSPB), the Jersey City Employment and Training Program (JCETP), and Integrity House, an addiction and mental health treatment center.
The event was hosted by JCETP Executive Director Jim McGreevey. Also in attendance and delivering remarks were Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop, Hudson County Executive Thomas A. Degise, and (NJSPB) Chairman James T. Plousis. A tour of the newly renovated facility was conducted after remarks had concluded around 2 PM.
The new Community Resource Center, a non-profit 501(c)(3) to be known as “The Sacred Heart Community Resource Center” will replace the current CRC at 2835 John F. Kennedy Blvd in Jersey City.
The Sacred Heart Community Resource Center will provide services to parolees, including addiction treatment though Integrity House, legal assistance, registration with a Federally Qualified Health Center, essential workforce skills, cognitive behavioral therapy based Motivational Interviewing, building trades apprenticeship programs, resume workshops, conflict resolution exercises, conversational skills, anger management and stress reduction techniques, and more.
The NJSPB awarded the contract for $4.2M over three years because of the proven success reducing recidivism and increasing employment that JCETP, led by Governor McGreevey, has previously demonstrated working with similar populations. JCETP initiatives have been commended by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance which awarded JCETP the “gold standard” in prisoner reentry work. The National Institute of Justice has recognized JCETP as being “at the forefront of the reentry field.”
The 2014 Warming Shelter initiative administered by JCETP not only provided warm shelter, meals and showers to the homeless, it also saved the DOC $230K. “Frequent Flyer” inmates, who purposely seek wintertime incarceration for survival, were redirected through the Warming Shelter, reducing recidivism and saving the DOC money.
CRCs have historically proven themselves to be ineffective at reducing recidivism. The National Institute of Justice (2011)1 reported that the majority of Community Resource Centers or “Day Reporting Centers” in New Jersey are ineffective at improving outcomes for their client parolee client base. The NIJ report found that day reporting centers did not have better results than traditional parole programs and in fact “treatment effects were significantly worse.”
The NIJ based its findings on a 2011 report published by Dr. Douglas Boyle of the Violence Institute of New Jersey at Rutgers University. Dr. Boyle’s research team conducted a randomized trial of New Jersey CRCs and found that the existing CRCs in New Jersey led to parolees offending over 100 days sooner than those we were not assigned to a CRC.
In conversation with JCETP, Dr. Boyle explained that the poor results of many CRCs could be related to a conflict of interest within the multi-national corrections corporations who own the majority of New Jersey CRCs.
“Corporations by definition, their goal, and I studied corporate law and I know corporate law, their goal is to maximize profits. So conspiracy or not there’s something a lot of people refer to as a prison industrial complex and I include in that community corrections as well.”
Dr. Boyle elaborated, “here a corporation is just doing what a corporation normally does, and that’s why I don’t think they’re suited to run these kinds of operations. They should be not-for-profit operations.”
The Sacred Heart CRC’s unique combination of addiction treatment, legal aid services, and employment training and placement makes the non-profit unique amongst the field of reentry programs in New Jersey. The CRC will begin delivering services in September, serving up to sixty parolees at a time.