ASSEMBLY, No. 840

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  R. BRUCE LAND

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

Assemblyman  BOB ANDRZEJCZAK

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

Assemblyman  MATTHEW W. MILAM

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires county colleges to develop juvenile offender reentry programs.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act requiring county colleges to develop juvenile offender reentry programs and supplementing chapter 64A of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.     The Juvenile Justice Commission followed the justice system activity of its released youth for three full years after release from custody in 2010 and found poor outcomes for the strong majority of these youth.  Specifically, at the three-year point, 86 percent of the released youth had a new court filing or arrest, 72 percent committed a re-offense that led to an adjudication or conviction, and 37 percent had a re-offense leading to a new commitment to a Juvenile Justice Commission facility or to a State prison.

     b.    While reasons for the failing outcomes of former juvenile offenders may be debated, it is clear that there is an urgent need for alternative reentry models that will lower the recidivism rates of the juvenile population. 

     c.     Employment is fundamental to the successful integration of a former juvenile offender into the community. 

     d.    New Jersey’s county colleges have a long history of success in providing the job readiness training needed by nontraditional students, and in customizing their programs towards the skill demands of regional employers.  County colleges could therefore play an important role in implementing effective reentry programs that will enable juvenile offenders to move into productive adulthoods.

 

     2.    a.  A county college shall develop and implement a reentry program for juvenile offenders.  The goal of the program shall be to reduce recidivism rates for juvenile offenders by providing them an opportunity to enter the workforce with skills and credentials sought be employers. 

     The reentry program shall:

     (1)   offer administrative support to eligible participants in identifying and applying for student financial assistance and other programs available to support the participants’ higher education costs;

     (2)   target its program offerings to best meet the skill demands of regional employers;

     (3)   ensure that participants have an opportunity to obtain education and industry-recognized credentials in high-demand occupations and industries;

     (4)   offer a comprehensive array of support services targeted to meet the needs of juvenile offenders, including counseling to identify and address student barriers to success, and life skills training in areas such as financial literacy, workplace expectations, and interpersonal relationships;

     (5)   include a service learning component to provide participants an opportunity to make a positive contribution to their community; and

     (6)   provide job placement services for participants who have successfully completed the program including assistance in resume development and interview preparation.

     b.    A county college may consult with the Secretary of Higher Education and the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development in developing a reentry program for juvenile offenders.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill directs a county college to develop and implement a reentry program for juvenile offenders.  The goal of the program will be to reduce recidivism rates for juvenile offenders by providing them with an opportunity to enter the workforce with valuable skills and credentials. 

     Under the bill, the reentry program will:

     (1)   offer administrative support to eligible participants in identifying and applying for student financial assistance and other programs available to support the participants’ higher education costs; 

     (2)   target its program offerings to best meet the skill demands of regional employers;

     (3)   ensure that participants have an opportunity to obtain education and industry-recognized credentials in high-demand occupations and industries;

     (4)   offer a comprehensive array of support services targeted to meet the needs of juvenile offenders;

     (5)   include a service learning component; and

     (6)   provide job placement services.

     The bill provides that a county college may consult with the Secretary of Higher Education and the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development in developing a reentry program.