As NJ.com reported President Obama spoke in Newark on the importance of reentry work for our nation. JCETP Executive Director McGreevey, Deputy Director Koufos and several JCETP clients were thrilled to be there to see the President address this vital issues. Mr. McGreevey was interviewed and a recording was posted online.
Former NJ Gov. Jim McGreevey discusses the challenges inmates face upon their release and the importance of prison reform.
Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey has found a new calling behind prison bars.
Just more than a decade after his resignation from the state’s top office, McGreevey, now an Episcospal Seminarian, spends his time preparing inmates for a life beyond a prison with the Jersey City Employment and Training Program.
The program provides drug treatment behind bars and follows them after their release because McGreevey says the current rehabilitation system isn’t working.
“We take first-time, second-time drug offenders, and we put them in hell, and then we have them there for an extended period of time where they’re learning all the worst lessons.” he told MetroFocus Host Jack Ford. “…and then they come out; there’s no housing. There’s no job. And there’s no continued addiction treatment.”
According to the Bureau of Justice, many prisoners continue to have run-ins with the law after they get out. Within only three years of being released, nearly 71 percent of felons are re-arrested, almost half are re-convicted and more than a quarter are re-imprisoned.
McGreevey says it is important to help New Jersey’s more than 17,000 inmates and the other hundreds of thousands across the country beat these odds not only for moral reasons, but also because of the financial implications.
“This one percent of the population is having such a deleterious impact on the entire community,” he said, citing the annual $74 billion taxpayer cost of corrections nationwide.
JCETP’s Sean McClintock featured in Washington Post
Read the full article here:
Excerpt which focuses on our Building Maintenance Supervisor:
In a storefront in a run-down section of Jersey City, McGreevey attacks addiction with every tool at his disposal. His program offers released prisoners career training, job-placement counseling and continuing therapy. It provides housing in a facility where everyone must be employed or in school. And its 56 volunteer lawyers persuade judges to convert addicts’ fines into jail time, so they can leave detention with a clean slate.
“Basically, you have to come here from jail, but without this place, you’d be right back in jail,” said Sean McClintock, 47.
Two years ago, McClintock, the burly son of a fire chief, was caught shoplifting to raise money for heroin. He tried to get into a detox facility in New Jersey but was told that he’d have to get on a waiting list. A helpful nurse gave him some advice on the sly: Take the train under the Hudson River and try one of New York City’s more generously funded hospitals. That same night, McClintock walked into the emergency room at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital and was put in a seven-day detox program, even though he had no insurance.
McClintock went to jail on the shoplifting charge and connected with McGreevey’s program. It now provides him with housing and a job, as well as regular drug testing and counseling.
After spending most of his adult life behind bars, McClintock has been out and clean for nearly two years, he said — “the longest I’ve been out of jail since I was 19.”
About a quarter of McGreevey’s clients relapse, a relatively low rate given that most addicts return to drugs and crime at least once after treatment. But McGreevey’s state contract provides care for only 284 people; New Jersey recorded 781 heroin overdose deaths last year.
Sean McClintock, above left, is a recovering heroin addict who has spent most of his adult life behind bars. McClintock, 47, says he has been clean since he connected two years ago with an experimental treatment program run by former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey, above right, that provides him with housing and a job, as well as regular drug testing and counseling.
In South Jersey, Michael and Darla DeLeon
NJTV’s Mike Hill came to JCETP on Monday
to spotlight our program as an example of a successful prisoner reentry program. Program’s like our’s are crucial because of the reforms to criminal justice that Senator Booker, among others, are pushing for in legislation. We were honored to have the opportunity for one of our clients to tell his story and for our program to held as an example of a reentry program that is making in difference.
Read the article here.