Grand Opening of Our Client Candido’s New Restaurant in Jersey City

Today was a memorable day for our client, Candido! We held the grand opening of his new restaurant, El Sabor Del Café, in Jersey City. Candido was honored to receive a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama, who granted him clemency from an exceptionally harsh 49.5-year sentence. The restaurant features Spanish, American, and international cuisine and offers a la carte, catering, and delivery options. Congratulations, Candido!

Thank you to all who showed their support at today’s event: Senator Sandra Cunningham; Rolando Lavarro, Jr., Council President, Jersey City; Reverend Steffie Bartley, New Hope Memorial Baptist ChurchThe National Action Network; Roger Jones, JCETP Chairman; Reverend Idida Rodriguez, IGNITE Ministries; Pastor Joshua Rodriguez, The Cityline Church; Reverend Bolivar Flores and members of Ministerio El Sol Sale Para Todos Internacional, and Candido’s former coworkers from Jersey City’s Light Rail Café. Photos by Stefanie Campolo. Please find more photos in NJRC’s Facebook album.

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Gov. Christie’s Employment Opportunity Summit in Trenton

This morning, Governor Chris Christie and the New Jersey Reentry Corporation co-hosted an Employment Opportunity Summit at Thomas Edison University in Trenton, where top executives from New Jersey companies gathered to explore innovative ways to implement neutral hiring practices and enhance employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records in New Jersey.

Featured guest speakers and panelists included Mark Holden of Koch Industries, Governor Christie, Commissioner Aaron Fichtner, of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Rich Liebler, of Sansone Automall, Stefan Oberman, of AeroFarms, John Koufos, Executive Director, NJRC, Jim McGreevey, Chairman, NJRC, and individuals who shared their stories of reentry and their journey in finding employment: Patrick D’Aiuto, Tariq Love, and John Berry. Thank you to Governor Christie for his continued support of formerly incarcerated individuals and those struggling with addiction, and thank you to all New Jersey business representatives who attended today!

At Summit, Christie calls for more job opportunities for ex-offenders (NJBIZ)
Christie, lawmakers working on bill to revamp expungement process (Politico)

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Photos by Stefanie Campolo

Wednesday, Dec. 21: Candlelight Vigil to Support Individuals Affected by Addiction

Governor Chris Christie along with the Facing Addiction Task Force and Pastor Joe A. Carter of the New Hope Baptist Church are hosting a Candlelight Vigil to support the people, families, and loved ones affected by addiction and to honor the memories of those who sadly lost their lives to it. It is on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 4:30 p.m. Please RSVP to or 609.777.2500.


Film Producer, Clients, and Community Members Attend Film Screening of “The Return”

Yesterday was our film screening of “The Return” at Grace Church Van Vorst in Jersey City. Thank you to film producer Ariella Ben-Dov, our clients, and everyone who attended to make it such a successful and engaging event!

Synopsis of the film: In 2012, California amended its “Three Strikes” law—one of the harshest criminal sentencing policies in the country. The passage of Prop. 36 marked the first time in U.S. history that citizens voted to shorten sentences of those currently incarcerated. Within days, the reintegration of thousands of “lifers” was underway. “The Return” examines this unprecedented reform through the eyes of those on the front lines—prisoners suddenly freed, families turned upside down, reentry providers helping navigate complex transitions, and attorneys and judges wrestling with an untested law. At a moment of reckoning on mass incarceration, what can California’s experiment teach the nation?

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Photos by Stefanie Campolo

Sharing Our Mission With Faith-Based Leadership

This morning, NJRC hosted a breakfast for faith-based leadership, where we had the opportunity to teach about our programs and forge a closer partnership. We are so appreciative of the faith-based community’s advocacy for our clients in the community and for reaching out to those who could benefit from our services.



Specifically, we asked them to spread the word about the following NJRC and JCETP programs:

1. Our employment and training program for formerly incarcerated persons, including those who are on parole or probation. Please click here for NJRC’s full brochure in PDF format.


2. Our Out of School Youth Program for youth ages 16-24 who are no longer enrolled in high school and would like to enroll in high school equivalency classes, develop work readiness skills, and more (click here for PDF).


3. Phase 2 of our NJ Build Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program with Project Impact (click here for PDF).


4. A free film screening of “The Return” at Grace Church Van Vorst in Jersey City on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7:00 p.m. (Click here for event registration page and PDF).