The mission of the New Jersey Association on Correction is to Help People with A Past, Build A Future. To enable social justice and human dignity to be manifest in the policies and institutions governing victims of crime and offenders, as well as individuals in need of social services, through rehabilitative, educational, and legislative programs.
NJAC envisions a world of social equity and the development of just laws that are impartially applied to all people. NJAC believes that though many people are negatively impacted by social inequities, they have the capacity to make changes in their lives, given the tools and support needed.
Although individuals may be caught in circumstances beyond their control, they are capable of making change in their lives and being re-directed to more positive behaviors when provided with the tools necessary to do so. We also believe that people are best served in a respectful and dignified manner in the community, rather than in an institutional setting, in order to reach their highest potential for independent living.
Background and History
Established in 1961, New Jersey Association on Correction (NJAC) is a private not-for-profit organization. Among NJAC’s clients are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, women at risk of separation from their children due to child abuse and/or neglect, women in recovery and their children, people at risk for and living with HIV/AIDS, adult-ex-offenders, and youth who are at risk of becoming offenders. Program locations range southern New Jersey to northern New Jersey with numerous sites in between.
Since its inception, NJAC has provided various types of support services to clients, depending upon client need. Direct and linked support services include case management, community support groups and social services, housing assistance, legal and financial assistance, transportation, linkage to medical personnel and facilities, personal care and counseling, crisis intervention and stabilization, life and living skills training, financial education and counseling, relocation assistance for survivors, vocational and educational training, and job placement, among others.
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Camden County Women's Center
Community Counseling Center for survivors of domestic violence includes the county-wide Domestic Violence Response Team, Superior Court Legal Advocate and Domestic Violence Liaisons. The Center provides non-residential support services to survivors of domestic violence and includes counseling, referrals, education, support groups and accompaniment to hospitals, police and courts.
Peace, A Learned Solution (PALS) serves children ages three to twelve who have been exposed to domestic violence, either as victims or witnesses. The program utilizes music therapy, art therapy, play therapy and other expressive therapies to facilitate children’s recovery from their traumatic experiences. The goals of all the expressive therapies are to enable children to gain mastery over their feelings that are affecting behaviors and performance in educational and social environments.
Safe House is the state funded lead agency providing a residential safe haven for women and children escaping domestic violence. The 45-day confidential shelter accommodates up to 36 women and children that have become homeless as a result of leaving a domestic violence situation. It also serves as the location for the 24-hour hotline.
Passaic County Women's Center
Community Counseling Center serves as the center for non-residential support services to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and includes counseling, referrals, Domestic Violence Response Team and Sexual Assault Response Team, legal advocacy, community education, support groups, and accompaniment to hospitals, police, and courts.
Safe House, the state funded lead agency providing a residential safe haven for women and children escaping domestic violence, a 45 day confidential shelter in Passaic County for up to 29 women and children that have become homeless as a result of leaving a domestic violence situation. It also serves as the location for the 24-hour hotline.
Transitional Housing is for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking. Women live in a congregate living style and have access to case management services including, advocacy, accompaniment, community referrals, transportation assistance, assistance with DYFS/DCF cases, individual and group therapy, parenting skills classes, budget planning and other needed services to assist them in finding permanent housing while remaining safe. The length of stay ranges from 6-18 months.
Re-Entry to the Community from Incarceration
Clinton House is a 40 bed residential pre-release program in Trenton that assists adult male inmates with positive reintegration back into the community. Clients are required to work or attend school full time in preparation for their release. The Correctional AIDS Project provides education and discharge planning to State prison and halfway house male inmates meeting eligibility criteria within three months of release at eight area correctional facilities and assists them with linking to community services once they are released. Jennie's Place is located in Newark and services women who have exited the criminal justice system and are homeless and have a disability. The housing is permanent and women receive case management/supportive services while in the program. Middlesex County Resource Center, a walk-in center in New Brunswick assisting offenders and ex-offenders with meeting emergency needs such as obtaining identification, employment, housing, information to further their education and stabilizing in the community.
Millicent Fenwick House, a 50 bed residential pre-release program in Paterson that assists adult women with a history of substance abuse with positive reintegration back into the community through activities that reduce their risk of criminal recidivism through programs.
Sanford Bates House is a 20 bed residential program in New Brunswick that assists adult male parolees with positive reintegration back into the community through assistance with finding permanent housing and other activities that reduce their risk of criminal recidivism.
Camden County Scattered Sites Program is a subsidized permanent housing program for ten families with at least one HIV-positive resident. A Case Manager works with each family to maintain stable housing within one of ten units within the community. Winifred Canright House is a 12-24 month residential program in Asbury Park that assists up to 20 for homeless men with improving health care, recovery from addiction, stabilization in their community and permanent housing.
The following goals for the New Jersey Association on Correction over the next three years are the organization’s response to the important issues identified in program supervisory staff surveys, CSBG organizational standards, agency strategic planning sessions and community needs assessments which are part of the strategic planning process.
NJAC will continue to provide supports for an underserved, underrepresented, low income population directly and through partnerships with referrals to other service providers in the following areas:
- Residential re-entry programming
- HIV/AIDS discharge planning
- Domestic violence safe shelters and non-residential support services
- Subsidized permanent housing program
- Residential housing for HIV/AIDS infected men
- Permanent housing for formerly incarcerated, homeless and disabled women
- Self Sufficiency and employment programming