Law & Justice

President Obama Calls for a Ban of the Box During Newark Speech

596ce68dcdd92f5a7db9_DSC_0213.JPG
President Barack Obama visits Newark to discuss Criminal Justice Reform Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
23ed7f671e9a322a1122_DSC_0210.JPG
President Barack Obama visits Newark to discuss Criminal Justice Reform Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
f2af97b8dc92bbbb0ac2_DSC_0294.JPG
Pastor Vincent Rouse and Pastor David Jefferson attend the criminal justice reform speech of President Obama in Newark Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
1332a6a920013896210b_DSC_0296.JPG
U.S. Attorney for NJ Paul Fishman (center) Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
42bc006c576ea5df21f6_DSC_0298.JPG
Senator Ray Lesniack and student journalists Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
3d14ad5d741e17f7b839_DSC_0092.JPG
Jersey City Mayor Fulop, Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Sen. Sandra Cunningham Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
1fca22a28735f30bb252_DSC_0093.JPG
Jersey City Mayor Fulop, Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Sen. Sandra Cunningham, fmr. Gov. Jim McGreevey Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
20f02cfdb83919ba44d3_DSC_0211.JPG
President Barack Obama visits Newark to discuss Criminal Justice Reform Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
0bb4c7d5a5fd970a800c_DSC_0218.JPG
President Barack Obama visits Newark to discuss Criminal Justice Reform Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
463eaf40f632286e6777_DSC_0221.JPG
President Barack Obama visits Newark to discuss Criminal Justice Reform Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
ccab7781df79854ecd88_DSC_0223.JPG
596ce68dcdd92f5a7db9_DSC_0213.JPG

NEWARK, NJ - President Barack Obama paid a visit to Newark on Monday to discuss criminal justice reform and the prisoner re-entry initiative that he is supporting.

After Air Force One landed at Newark Airport on Monday afternoon at 1:20 p.m., Obama visited the Integrity House in Newark along with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. Sometime around 4:30 p.m., Obama arrived at Rutgers Newark Law School to discuss his plan.

During his brief 10-minute speech, Obama spoke about the need for criminal justice reform in America. He mentioned the cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration that affects many Americans. 

Sign Up for E-News

Sign Up for E-News

 

In a speech given during the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference on Oct. 27, Obama told the crowd that he believes that "...we can disrupt the pipeline from underfunded schools to overcrowded jails, and make our criminal justice system smarter, fairer, and more effective". 

During the Newark visit on Monday, Obama met with those who are working to improve the criminal justice system, from law enforcement officials whom he highlighted during his speech to former prisoners who are earning their second chance. He recognized those local individuals and had them stand during his speech.
 

 
 

 

Obama said, "We try to make sure that the good work that we saw here today, we can start expanding."

The President spoke on the prisoner re-entry process of formerly incarcerated individuals and proposed new reforms aimed at helping Americans who’ve paid their debt to society rehabilitate and reintegrate back into their communities.

Obama told the crowd that one of his goals is "...to put more money in the system. It is no where what wee need, but we will have the ability to create more programs that serve as an example and can be duplicated."

Each year, more than 600,000 individuals are released from state and federal prisons. Obama stated that without policies and programs to support those individuals in putting their lives back on track and give them a second chance, then the cycle of poverty and crime may continue. 

Obama discussed the work of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, a cabinet-level working group to support the federal government's efforts to promote public safety and economic opportunity through cross-agency coordination and collaboration.

The President has also called on Congress to pass meaningful criminal justice reform, including reforms that reduce recidivism for those who have been in prison and are reentering society.  He mentioned that Booker would soon introduce supporting legislation with a bipartisan colleague.

Obama said, "We know that having millions of people in the criminal justice system, without any ability to find a job after release, is unsustainable.  It’s bad for communities and it’s bad for our economy."

In Obama's proposed legislative effort, he spoke of reducing overlong sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, providing additional funding through grants that would further support reentry services, programs for mental illness and addiction, and state and local law enforcement. 

During his speech, President Obama outlined the following measures to help promote rehabilitation and reintegration:

  • Adult Reentry Education Grants.  The Department of Education will award up to $8 million (over three years) to nine communities for the purpose of supporting educational attainment and reentry success for individuals who have been incarcerated. This grant program seeks to build evidence on effective reentry education programs and demonstrate that high-quality, appropriately designed, integrated, and well-implemented educational and related services in institutional and community settings are critical  in supporting educational attainment and reentry success. 
  • Arrests Guidance for Public and other HUD-Assisted Housing.The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will release guidance today to Public Housing Authorities and owners of HUD-assisted housing regarding the use of arrests in determining who can live in HUD-assisted properties. This guidance will also clarify the Department’s position on “one strike” policies and will include best practices from Public Housing Authorities.
  • Banning the Box in Federal Employment.  The President has called on Congress to follow a growing number of states, cities and private companies that have decided to “ban the box” on job applications.  We are encouraged that Congress is considering bipartisan legislation that would “ban the box” for federal hiring and hiring by federal contractors.  In the meantime, the President is directing the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to take action where it can by modifying its rules to delay inquiries into criminal history until later in the hiring process.  While most agencies already have taken this step, this action will better ensure that applicants from all segments of society, including those with prior criminal histories, receive a fair opportunity to compete for Federal employment. 
  • TechHire: Expanding tech training and jobs for individuals with criminal records.  As a part of President Obama’s TechHire initiative, over 30 communities are taking action – working with each other and national employers – to expand access to tech jobs for more Americans with fast track training like coding boot camps and new recruitment and placement strategies.  The following new commitments were announced:
    • Newark, NJ, working with the New Jersey Institute of Technology and employers like Audible, Panasonic, and Prudential, will offer training through the Art of Code program in software development with a focus on training and placement for formerly incarcerated people.
  • Establishing a National Clean Slate Clearinghouse.  In the coming weeks, the Department of Labor and Department of Justice will partner to establish a National Clean Slate Clearinghouse to provide technical assistance to local legal aid programs, public defender offices, and reentry service providers to build capacity for legal services needed to help with record-cleaning, expungement, and related civil legal services. 
  • Permanent Supportive Housing for the Reentry Population through Pay for Success.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the Department of Justice have launched an $8.7 million demonstration grant to address homelessness and reduce recidivism among the justice-involved population. The Pay for Success (PFS) Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration will test cost-effective ways to help persons cycling between the criminal justice and homeless service systems, while making new Permanent Supportive Housing available for the reentry population. PFS is an innovative form of performance contracting for the social sector through which government only pays if results are achieved. This grant will support the design and launch of PFS programs to reduce both homelessness and jail days, saving funds to criminal justice and safety net systems.
  • Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program Awards to Support Public Housing Residents.  With funding provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide $1.75 million to aid eligible public housing residents who are under the age of 25 to expunge or seal their records in accordance with their applicable state laws.  In addition, the National Bar Association – the nation’s oldest and largest national association of predominantly African-American lawyers and judges – has committed to supplementing this program with 4,000 hours of pro bono legal services.  Having a criminal record can result in major barriers to securing a job and other productive opportunities in life, and this program will enable young people whose convictions are expungable to start over.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

Cranford H.S. Athletes of the Week: Anna Horne & Phil Marotta

April 17, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ - Due to impressive performances as goalies for varsity lacrosse, Anna Horne and Phil Marotta are Cranford High School's Athletes of the Week.

Horne, a junior, has 408 career saves. Her current total for the season is 84 saves as she helped lead the Cougars to victory in games against Montville and Governor Livingston.

"I like the team dynamic of lacrosse," ...

Northside Kitchen Wins ‘Best Bite’ at Westfield’s Sandwichfest

April 22, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Northside Kitchen’s fried chicken sandwich beat sandwiches from nine other local restaurants to win “Best Bite” by popular vote at Sandwichfest Sunday. Northside Kitchen is located at 760 Prospect St. in Westfield.

More than 400 ticket holders each had a chance to taste 10 sandwiches and vote for their favorite, according to Rory Chadwick, one of ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Share Talents at Music Recital

April 22, 2018

EDISON, NJ -- The Music Department at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison staged its annual Spring Music Recital, and it was another spectacular show.

Held in the new Berry Performing Arts Center for the first time, this year's recital featured many of the school's most talented vocal and instrumental performers.

Students who participated in the recital included: Aum Mehta ...

Cranford Police Blotter: DWI Arrest & More

April 17, 2018

The information provided does not represent the total scope of police activity. Individuals charged as a result of police investigations are merely an accusation. All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

1. 04/10/2018 10:11 a.m.

North Avenue East and the Garden State Parkway 137 Exchange

Arrested: Manuel Ramos, 20, Newark

Arrested by: Ptl. Thomas ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

The History of Hanson Park and Surrounding ...

Education

Wed, April 25, 7:00 PM

The Cranford Hotel (sponsored by Calvary Lutheran Church), Cranford

Beer & Bible

Religions And Spirituality

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 22, 2018

After Bruce Patrson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. A the the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude ...