Are you experiencing challenges as a former offender, such as trying to reenter the community in a positive way, but you keep coming up short? If so, you don’t have to succumb to the pressures of negative behavior or the rejection you may receive from prospective employers or landlords. There is help available if you need a job, a place to live, and counseling. Your road to social recovery is just one phone call away. Listed below are organizations that have programs specifically for former offenders.
United States Department of Veteran Affairs: A Guidebook for Reentry Veterans in New Jersey - This 29 page booklet provides a list of resources and checklists to help former offenders apply for benefits, obtain legal help, financial assistance, substance abuse counseling and treatment, mental health services, healthcare, employment, housing, and discharge upgrades. For detailed contact information you can download a copy of the publication here.
The Reentry Coalition of New Jersey program is open to former offenders in need of rehabilitation. The coalition consists of agencies, which have partnered together to assist former offenders by providing halfway house services, assessment, substance abuse treatment, work release programs, outpatient parole services, and mental health services. For more information about this program, visit here.
The Stages to Enhance Parole Success program provides housing placement, life skill development, substance abuse counseling, career training, education, job placement, financial management, and transitional support services. If you would like to sign up for this program visit the State of New Jersey State Parole Board website here or call (609) 292-4257.
This program provides housing for parolees who need substance abuse treatment. Plans are also created to assist former offenders with maintaining reintegration status. To inquire about this program visit the State of New Jersey State Parole Board website here.
Ready4Work is a national program that is available to former offenders who want to make a fresh start. However, restrictions apply to former offenders who have committed violent and sexual crimes. You must reside in Duval, Clay, St. Johns or Nassau County. Stipulations also apply regarding release status. You must be newly released, on probation, recently charged or arrested within the last year. For detailed information, contact Volunteers of America Delaware Valley at (856) 854-4660.
This reentry program is for former women offenders. However, this program is limited to 20 women. Transitional housing is offered only to ten women at a time. Selected women are permitted to stay in this transitional housing facility until graduation and permanent housing is secured. This program also includes life skill training, employment placement assistance, nutrition planning, and parenting skill development. For contact information, visit here.
The Jersey City Employment and Training Program offers direct job placement through One-Stop Employment Services. Former offenders who were released from the Hudson County Correctional Facility can apply for these services. For more information you may visit the Jersey City Employment and Training Program here or call (201) 795-8800.
Legal Services of New Jersey's legal department provides assistance to former offenders who want information about record expungement, record sealing, or counseling regarding other legal matters. You may visit here to obtain contact information.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has provided resources for former offenders such as the Federal Bonding Program
The Newark Office of Reentry provides transitional jobs in landscaping and light construction through the Transitional Jobs Program. The Opportunity Reconnect Program also offers former offenders who are seeking employment. Housing, clothing, family services, and legal assistance are available through the Opportunity Reconnect Program. Gateway ID is another program provided for former offenders who need to obtain identification cards. For more information visit here
One Stop Career Center in New Jersey currently has eight career centers, which assist former offenders. If you need assistance with education you may also obtain information from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development regarding its Learning Link program. You may visit Jobs4Jersey.com for more information.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse provides useful information on what steps to take when you’re ready to reenter the workforce. If you click here you’ll find an article, which focuses on six things you can do to help yourself regain employment security.
The Residential Community Release Program is available to offenders who are pending release and will be placed on probation. Former offenders are permitted to participate in the Work Release program. Individuals are required to maintain employment or complete a residential drug treatment program. For more information contact:
The Essex County Smart Book: A Resource Guide for Going Home can be downloaded here. This is a comprehensive guide for ex-offender reentry in Essex county and is free to download.
The Fortune Society organization provides housing, employment services, mental health, family services, substance abuse treatment, and education for former offenders. The Single Stop Benefits Assessment and Referral Program also assist former offenders with obtaining Food Stamps and Medicaid. No appointment is necessary to inquire about services, click here for more information.
The Millicent Fenwick House from the New Jersey Association on Correction helps former women offenders who have children. This residential program offers substance abuse counseling, vocational training, legal assistance, and other treatment that will increase the wellbeing of women who are reentering society. If you would like more information about this program you can review information on the National Directory of Programs for Women with Criminal Justice Involvement here.
Volunteers of America Delaware Valley Reentry Services is a residential program that provides client treatment and support to improve the lives of former offenders. For more information visit the Volunteers of America website.
Work First Program New Jersey - Former offenders can seek employment through this program which is provided through the Department of Human Services. For more information contact your local DHS office or locate one here.
Transitioning back into society can be challenging when trying to establish yourself on your own. However, the organizations listed above have worked hard to make a way for you to obtain the benefits and resources you need to live a successful life. When you contact these organizations, you’ll be saving time.
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