Law & Justice

Press Releases

McGreevey Keynotes 3rd Annual Union County Youth Services Networking Conference

9727ec70f07bd9f54945_2015_Youth_Conference.jpg
Former Gov. Jim McGreevey (center right) and Union County Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski (far left) pose with the Union County Youth Services Steering Committee.
9727ec70f07bd9f54945_2015_Youth_Conference.jpg

Former Gov. Jim McGreevey served as the keynote speaker at this week's 3rd Annual Union County Youth Services Networking Conference, speaking about the importance of reentry into society by those leaving the criminal justice system and the success Jersey City has had reducing recidivism, or the return to criminal behavior.

"These are interesting times with regard to the question of reentry," he said. "After America's long love affair with incarceration, there is a light at the end of the tunnel."

McGreevey was referring to the success Jersey City has enjoyed enabling those leaving incarceration to reenter society and avoid a return to crime and the growing support for such programs throughout New Jersey and the nation. Today McGreevey serves as the executive director of the Jersey City Employment and Training Committee, where he oversees the agency's efforts to guide former prison inmates back into the workforce.

Sign Up for E-News

McGreevey shared some startling statistics:

  • The United States spends $74 billion per year incarcerating 1 percent of its population.

  • The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world's population yet 25 percent of the world's incarcerated population.

  • 70 percent of the nation's incarcerated population are addicts or alcoholics yet only 11 percent receive treatment while incarcerated.

  • Within three years 60 percent of those leaving incarceration are re-indicted.

"We clearly can do this better," he said.

McGreevey said in Jersey City they focus on treatment, housing and training, identifying those jobs that are or will be in highest demand and training participants in those sectors. As a result, recidivism within the program has dropped to 23 percent, compared with the national average of 60 percent.

McGreevey also noted that those in the audience, which comprised more than 250 youth services professionals from the government and nonprofit sectors, are playing an essential role in the effort to reduce recidivism by working with young people within the child services system who are so much at risk. He said the children of parents who are incarcerated are six times more likely to become incarcerated themselves than the national average.

The conference also featured presentations by representatives from the N.J. Department of Children and Families, Jessica Trombetta, director of the Office of Adolescent Services and Antonio Lopez, administrator of the Division of Prevention and Community Partnerships. Attendees also were able to take part in workshops covering topics such as employment and housing, after-school recreation and mentoring, domestic violence and gangs, and behavioral health and transitioning to adulthood.

De Lacy Davis, executive director of the Family Support Organization of Union County, which supports families of children with special emotional and behavioral needs, moderated a workshop on providing youth with alternatives to stay busy during the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., when the majority of youth crimes take place.

"There is a need for these types of services," he said. "There are people working in agencies providing services who don’t know what other providers are offering. You get to hear people say who they are and what they do and you say, 'Ah, I need that service.' It's phenomenal and should be replicated throughout the state."

"The purpose of this conference is to network and connect the dots," said Tanya Johnson, senior assistant executive director of youth services at Community Access Unlimited (CAU), which hosts the conference each year. "To fill in gaps in service, inform attendees about current services and put faces to names. All so we can provide better services to youth within the child services system."

The annual conference is the culmination of year-long work by the Union County Youth Services Steering Committee, which comprises 17 public and nonprofit youth services agencies, child advocates, volunteers and faith-based organizations. The committee works during the year to create resources and opportunities for individual professionals and organizations within the Union County child services sector to collaborate, as well as plans the annual conference, including lining up vendors and speakers.

CAU is a statewide Elizabeth-based nonprofit providing support programs and services to adults with disabilities as well as youth served under the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to enable them to live independently in the community, in areas including housing, vocational and life-skills training, education, advocacy and recreation. The conference breakfast was underwritten by the Union County Department of Human Services.

About CAU

Community Access Unlimited (CAU), celebrating its 36th year of success in 2015, supports people with special needs in achieving real lives in the community.  CAU provides support and gives a voice to adults and youth who traditionally have little support and no voice in society.  CAU helps people with housing, life skills, employment, money management, socialization and civic activities.  CAU also supports opportunities for advocacy through training in assertiveness, decision-making and civil rights.  CAU serves more than 5,000 individuals each year.  For more information about CAU and its services, contact us by phone at 908.354.3040, online at www.caunj.org or by mail at 80 West Grand Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

February 22, 2018

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser Set for Sunday

Is everyone ready to come together as a community and break bread to support the CSA? It's time for The Community Service Association of New Providence's 5th Annual Pasta & Meatball Dinner! This fun, family-friendly event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 East Fourth Street, New Providence. Pasta, meatballs, and dessert will be served from 3-7 ...

Caregiver Conference Sunday, Feb. 25, Focuses on Caregiver's Needs

 

Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, (JFSCNJ) a non-sectarian health and social service agency, will be hosting a Caregiver Conference called, “Caring for a Loved One While Being Mindful of Your Own Needs,” from 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, Halpern Building, 655 Westfield Ave. Elizabeth.  

 The Conference, ...

'RAD Kids' Program Continues to Grow; Fundraiser Set for Feb. 24 in Summit

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Begun two years ago by just a few families whose parents were seeking a safe space for their children to play and, according to group organizers, "meet other kids like them," 'RAD Kids' -- as the group is now known -- has become a safe space for gender-fluid children in North Jersey. 

“We’re now serving ...

Union County Magnet High School to Hold Silent Auction

A great night out with family and friends for just $10.  And we provide dessert and coffee/tea.

Please come to the Magnet High School PSA Silent Auction on Friday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Union County Vocational Technical School in Scotch Plains (West Hall Cafeteria). 

Tickets are only $10. You can then bid on over $12,000 worth of ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, February 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_9b6d72bb10d15de52ffa_pilates-mat-pic

Thu, February 22, 8:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Integrative Mat Pilates with Joan

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_107da84439934a15516b_woman_yogi

Thu, February 22, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Essential Hatha Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Thu, February 22, 9:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity with Kathy

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_4ca4b046b48f94f03540_unnamed_4

Thu, February 22, 10:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Hatha Yoga Flow

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Thu, February 22, 5:30 PM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity with Kathy

Health & Wellness

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...