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The Institute Commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Newark Rebellion

The Institute has created this poster to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Newark Rebellion and the ongoing struggle for social and racial justice:

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#BHM: Recognize Progress, Demand More

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Institute Hosts Bail Reform 101: What do I need to know?

Do you have questions about New Jersey's new bail reform law? Come get answers at Bail Reform 101: What do I Need to Know?

On February 21, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice is hosting an educational forum on the new bail reform law with Elie Honig, Division of Criminal Justice; Alex Shalom, ACLU-NJ; Diane Carl, Office of the Public Defender; Carolyn Murray, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office; and Terrell Blount, Vera Institute of Justice.

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WHYY: Report finds lopsided number of black, Latino youth in N.J. correctional facilities

WHYY reports:

"The separation of young people from their communities occurs during a formative and pivotal time in their lives," said NJISJ president and CEO Ryan Haygood. "The ties between children and their families are paramount to their maturation into adulthood."

According to the report, black children were arrested at higher rates than white children, and law enforcement officers would "divert" the cases of black children to non-jail options, such as ordering the defendant to complete community service or pay restitution to the victim, less often...

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Rev. Charles Boyer and the Institute's Retha Onitiri: We Must End Severe Racial Inequity of Charges Against N.J. Children

Rev. Charles Boyer and Retha Onitiri, Institute Juvenile Justice Campaign Manager, write for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange:

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”  Today, the first day of Black History Month, faith leaders from across New Jersey are joining together to condemn one of the major injustices of our time: the stark racial disparities within our state’s youth prisons.  

These grave racial inequities were laid bare in a recent report by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, entitled “Bring Our Children Home: Ain’t I A Child.” Despite the fact that Black and white children have similar rates of offending, Black children make up almost 75% of those committed to juvenile facilities in our state.  Indeed, Black youth are more than 24 times more likely to be placed in a secure juvenile facility than white children.

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Faith Leaders, Legislators Decry Racial Disparities as a "Moral Crisis"

Newark, NJ — As Black History Month begins, leaders from New Jersey’s faith community are raising their collective voices to call the extreme racial disparities that exist in New Jersey’s youth prisons a “moral crisis.”  The disparities, which were highlighted in a new report released by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, reflect that Black youth, incredibly, comprise nearly 75% of those committed to state juvenile facilities.  

“In New Jersey, incarceration is the default for too many young people, particularly Black children,” said Ryan P. Haygood, President and CEO of the Institute. “In far too many cases, Black youth are not given the latitude to make mistakes that all children make and learn from those mistakes. We are thankful to be joined by New Jersey’s leading faith-based voices who seek to change that unacceptable reality.”

Black and white young people engage in similar offenses at about the same rates overall, but New Jersey’s Black youth are disproportionately incarcerated in youth prisons.

"The racial disparities in New Jersey’s youth prisons highlight a moral crisis in our state,” said Rev. Charles Boyer of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Woodbury. “People of faith and of good will must come together to end the systemic assault on our most vulnerable children.”

Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, a champion of juvenile justice reform, joined the faith leaders in their call to action.

"In order to allow an opportunity to succeed in the future, we must continue to eradicate the disparities in our prison system where almost three-quarters of all youth committed to juvenile facilities are African American,” said Ms. Sumter. “It is our responsibility to work collaboratively to ensure that a young person's mistake does not eliminate redemption and they are afforded the opportunity to thrive in our State."

Assemblywoman Sumter and Rev. Boyer were joined by leaders from an array of faiths: Rev. Sara Lilja, Director of the Lutheran Episcopal Advocacy Ministry of New Jersey and the chair of the Board of Directors of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey; Reverend Timothy Levi Jones of Newark’s Bethany Baptist Church; Rabbi Jesse Olitzky of Congregation Beth El in South Orange; and Pastor Terry L. Richardson of the First Baptist Church of South Orange.

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Ryan P. Haygood on Why We Need Mentors

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#FACTS: Ryan P. Haygood's Statement on Governor Christie and President Trump's Voter Fraud Allegations

“The recent statements by President Trump and Governor Christie about voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election are irresponsible and dangerous. If we have learned anything from this recent era of politics, it is that alternative facts simply are not facts. Here are the facts: there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.  A leading comprehensive study of voter impersonation found only 31 incidents out of one billion ballots cast between 2000-2014.  In other words, voter fraud is extraordinarily rare.  

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Ryan Haygood on Christie's Voter Fraud Allegations: "A false narrative of a danger that doesn't exist"

Ryan Haygood speaks with the Bergen Record about Governor Christie's allegations of voter fraud during the 2016 presidential election:

President and CEO of the New Jersey Center for Social Justice Ryan Haygood noted that there is not any proof of widespread voter fraud, in New Jersey or around the country.

"Credible studies show that there is greater chance a person will be struck by lightening than see an instance of voting fraud," Haygood said...

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The Institute Announces the Honorable Dickinson R. Debevoise Social Justice Legal Advocacy Fellowship Position

Newark, NJ -- A founding trustee of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise dedicated his life to social justice and advocating for the most vulnerable members of our society.  From representing civil rights workers as a legal advocate in the Deep South during the Civil Rights Movement, to serving as President of the Newark Legal Services Project, Judge Debevoise left an indelible mark on both the City of Newark and the state of New Jersey. The Institute is proud to host a Debevoise Fellow to honor the incredible life and legacy of Judge Debevoise, a revered jurist and civil rights advocate. As a founding member of the Institute, he made an inimitable impact on the Institute that carries on through today.

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