Government

Press Releases

Rep. Watson Coleman Statement on New Jersey Dept. of Corrections Ban of “The New Jim Crow”

5c161661910e33af168e_BWC.Headshot.jpg
5c161661910e33af168e_BWC.Headshot.jpg

EWING, NJ – Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) released the below statement following reports that at least two New Jersey state prisons have banned inmates from reading Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Aged of Colorblindness:

“As long as I have been a lawmaker, I have fought for the “right to life” for the incarcerated. To learn that the New Jersey Department of Corrections has sought to censor a piece of literature that not only exposes the dire need for reform of our prison system, but that also educates the masses is misguided and dangerous. However, sadly, this practice isn’t uncommon.

For far too long, our prison systems have focused on punitive treatment and set aside their duty to rehabilitate. By banning Michelle Alexander’s book and other similar work, we are infringing on the First Amendment rights of the incarcerated. It is clear; this is about the system and the individual. Our work as elected officials to reform the criminal justice system and rehabilitate the incarcerated centers around having access to the musings, research, and findings of published thought leaders. It is an essential piece of decision-making for legislators as well as those who are seeking knowledge and the courage to break the cycle of recidivism.

Sign Up for E-News

In the coming days, I look forward to working with Governor-elect Murphy, ACLU-NJ and our allies to work within the constitutional parameters to ensure we are supporting the rehabilitative needs of the incarcerated and not shutting them out and limiting their chance at success.”

Watson Coleman has led the call for reforms to prisoner re-entry programs, fighting tirelessly to shut the revolving door of recidivism for individuals who have returned from incarceration. She is the author of the End-for-Profit Prisons Act that would prohibit the Bureau of Prisons from contracting with for-profit prison companies and would codify the Obama-era directive to end the federal procurement of for-profit prisons.

During her time as Assembly Majority Leader in the New Jersey State Legislature, Watson Coleman convened a year-long series of public hearings on the topic while shepherding legislation through the New Jersey Assembly that The New York Times called “a model for the rest of the nation,” on prisoner rehabilitation and release.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_e494ac4a13e4230208bf_holy_savior_academy

Tue, July 17, 5:00 PM

South Plainfield

Holy Savio Open House July 17th

Carousel_image_e494ac4a13e4230208bf_holy_savior_academy

Tue, July 17, 5:00 PM

South Plainfield

Holy Savior Open House July 17th

Carousel_image_41d1b33591c4aa084ebd_071818sing

Wed, July 18, 3:00 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Family Movie: Sing

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

July 17, 2018

CRANFORD – With over 120 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $50,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the ...

Plainfield BOE Member on Naming of the New School

July 12, 2018

On Tuesday, June 19, 2018 – I, Carmencita Pile, an elected Plainfield School Board member presented this during the Plainfield School Board monthly business meeting to the public and to the board after being recognized by Plainfield School Board President Mr. Richard Wyatt.

On Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 12:10PM an email was sent from the Plainfield School District's Postmaster that ...

Police Investigators Seek Public’s Help in Fatal Crash

July 15, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutors Office are looking for the public’s help in the July 4, 2018 fatal motorcycle accident that killed 28 year-old Jessica Montes of Piscataway.

According to police, the accident occurred at approximately 4:50am as the vehicle Montes was a passenger lost control and crashed on New Brunswick ...

La Guerra contra los Inmigrantes- Cuando es Demasiado?

July 15, 2018

"Primero, vinieron por los comunistas, y yo no hable- por que no era comunista.

Después, vinieron por los sindicalistas, y yo no hable- por que no era sindicalista.

Después, vinieron por los judíos, y yo no hable- por que no era judío. 

Después, vinieron por mí- y no hubo nadie para hablar por mí."

Este dicho por el ...

Mayor Mapp:  El Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes

El lunes, 9 de julio, nuevas caras alumbraran las oficinas de la Alcaldía. Nuestro Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes por fin comienza, y otra vez los empleados tendrán la oportunidad de ser mentores de un nuevo grupo de jóvenes.

El Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes corre por seis semanas todos los años y les da la oportunidad de empleo y experiencia a ...

Featured Business: Studio 15 Young Plainfield Entrepreneurs Expand Business Once More

“What you see behind me is a life-changing project for myself that I have been working on since January 2017, nearly two years, discreetly; not sharing much about it with anybody. I've had plenty of reasons to give up on this truck; I purchased it pretty much from the ground up from Rashine Mobile, another local city entrepreneur. The truck had no steering column, no computer; it ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

The Anatomy of Escape by Mike Blue

The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure by Mike Blue (Available on Amazon)

 

Imagine that you could just say, “Chuck it,” and walk away from the bonds that keep you tied to what Mike Blue, author of The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure, defines as the restrictive Work-Consume-Die cycle. To most of us, becoming what Blue terms “a ...

The Death of Koko the Gorilla

Koko's Kitten, Koko's Story, The Eduction of Koko all by Dr. Francine Patterson

 

Last night when I heard about the death of Koko, the lowland gorilla who was educated to communicate through American Sign Language by Dr. Francine Patterson, I went numb with grief. I have followed the life of Koko, her two gorilla companions, Michael and Ndume, as well as Dr. Patterson for forty ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly (Naval Institute Press, 2015)

Victoria Kelly's first published volume of poetry, When the Men Go Off to War, is a wonder in that poems can be written so beautifully about the subject of war. Each poem is a jewel, polished and colorful, glittering with elegant imagery, and rich in emotional wallop. The book, divided into three sections, ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.