In the News

Star Ledger: In fair housing, residential integration is key - and it's up to you

Senior Counsel and Director of the Economic Mobility Initiative writes for the Star Ledger:

From 1970 to 2015, the homeownership rate among black people actually declined from 41.8 to 41.2 percent, while it increased less than 1 percent among Latinos (44.4 to 45.3 percent). Meanwhile, the homeownership rate of white people increased from 66.1 to 71.1 percent. These disparities are the primary driver of the racial wealth gap, which has nearly tripled in the past 25 years. To put this in perspective, the median net worth of black and Latino families is $11,000 and $14,000, respectively, compared with the $134,000 median wealth of white families.

Times of Trenton Editorial Board: One ancient law is stopping thousands of people from voting

The Times of Trenton Editorial Board writes

The current ban "remains a moral stain on our state," says Ryan Haygood, president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, which recently released a report noting that more than half of those disenfranchised here - about 47,400 people - are African-Americans.

The Legislative Black Caucus has been advocating for the change for years, and now momentum seems to be building in its favor...

Many people believe that a convicted murderer or a rapist forfeits the right to take part in the democratic process. Or that their lack of wisdom or judgment should make such felons ineligible to cast a ballot.

But the rights of citizenship still pertain, even to those behind bars. Furthermore, judgment and wisdom have never been prerequisites to voting.

Burlington County Times: Group seeks to make use of former boarding school in Bordentown Township

The Burlington County Times reports:

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice lays out its vision in a report released last week called “Bring Our Children Home: A Prison-to-School Pipeline” that calls for the closing of both Hayes and the nearby Juvenile Medium Security Facility, which is considered the state’s most secure youth detention facility for boys, and the reopening of the Bordentown School. It also calls for a statewide study of disciplinary actions and policies in schools, and how they may contribute to the racial disparity among black and white students in youth prisons.

According to the report, black students in New Jersey are four times more likely than white students to receive out-of-school suspensions and are twice as likely to receive expulsions, even though white and black students commit most offenses at similar rates.

Similarly, the report found that while black students make up about 16 percent of the total enrollment in New Jersey schools, they make up about 34 percent of school-related arrests and just over 31 percent of law enforcement referrals.

The racial disparity was even greater among girls, with black girls accounting for over 50 percent of out-of-school suspensions by female students, 30 percent of expulsions and nearly 38 percent of in-school arrests.

1844NoMore: Media Round-Up

On February 26, 2018, historic legislation was introduced to restore the right to people in prison, on parole, and on probation. Elected officials and eighty organizations joined the Institute's call to say: We are 1844 no more. Check out the media round-up below and the photo gallery here

Wall Street Journal 

Huffington Post

NJ Spotlight

NJ 101.5

Star Ledger

CBS Philly

Insider NJ




Burlington County Times




The Trentonian Highlights Youth Justice Art and Video Exhibit reports

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and coLAB Arts have collaborated on an art program and display with incarcerated youth entitled “150 Years is Enough” in conjunction with the Institute’s same-named campaign that seeks to transform the youth justice system. The exhibit was shared on Feb. 20 at the State House in Trenton but also can be seen at New Jersey youth involved in the juvenile or criminal justice systems worked with coLAB Arts, an arts organization based in New Brunswick, for several weeks to create the pieces. The campaign aims to close youth prisons and invest in a community-based system of care. 

Amsterdam News: ‘Bring Our Children Home’: Lawmakers, advocates call for closure of New Jersey girls’ prison

Amsterdam News reports:

Wednesday, Institute Associate Counsel Andrea McChristian released her report, “Bring Our Children Home: A Prison-to-School Pipeline for New Jersey’s Youth,” which details the transformation of the Bordentown campus, as well as the modern-day, devastating impact of the school-to-prison pipeline on New Jersey’s youth of color.

According to the report, over the 2013-2014 school year, although Black girls made up only 16.2 percent of female students in New Jersey, they made up an estimated half of girls receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions, 30.2 percent of girls receiving expulsions with or without educational services, 37.6 percent of girls subjected to school-related arrests and 33.9 percent of girls referred to law enforcement...

“It is imperative that we rebuild our youth justice system to be transformative and prioritize rehabilitation,” said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. “The solutions to reform our criminal justice system must begin with affirming and preserving the humanity of our children. By closing down Hayes we are shutting one of the revolving doors of recidivism and recommitting ourselves to community uplift and support of our youth to help them thrive into adulthood.”

NJTV: Rutgers-Newark Establishes New Center to Confront Racism

NJTV reports:

“I think if this country needs anything, it needs at this moment more truth, it needs more racial healing and it certainly needs more transformation. The work that we do at the Institute for Social Justice really thinks about how, to the mayor’s point, how to transform systems that advance racial inequality,” said president and CEO of the institute, Ryan Haygood.