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New Jersey Faith Leaders Press Conference on the Opportunity to Compete Act

New Jersey's Faith Leaders of every denomination are uniting around the Opportunity to Compete Act on April 24th, 2014: What: New Jersey Faith Leaders Press Conference on the Opportunity to Compete Act hosted by Pastor Soaries When: Thursday, April 24th, 

1PM Location: First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, 771 Somerset Street, Somerset, NJ 08873

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"As religious leaders, we have witnessed the fallibility as well as the redemption of the human spirit.  When given the opportunity to remedy past lapses, people often strive to rise above their mistakes, becoming better for themselves, their families, and their communities.  

Barring employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records is a denial of the possibility of redemption.   People are hungry to work, but they need to be given a chance.

 The Opportunity to Compete Act will facilitate that chance by deferring (not eliminating) the point at which employers consider applicants’ criminal record and requiring individual consideration of each applicant.  

The Act is not one of lowered standards, nor does it force employers to employ applicants with criminal records.  It merely carries out the goal enshrined in its title – providing people with criminal records the opportunity to compete for jobs based on individual merit."

24 Regional Emmys for NJISJ Trustee Sandy King and Due Process!

Sandy-King-NY-Emmys-2014.jpg Congratulations to NJISJ’s own Sandy King and everyone at Due Process on their recent win of two New York Emmys, bringing their total number of regional Emmys to an astounding total of 24! Due Process won in two important categories: ~ Outstanding Public Affairs Reporting: "Due Process: Good Samaritan" ~ Outstanding Criminal Justice Program: "$$=Freedom: The Broken Bail System" In addition to these two Emmy winners, Due Process was also nominated for their "Ban the Box" program, featuring The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice's efforts to pass the Opportunity to Compete Act, still pending in the Legislature.

These and all Due Process programs may be viewed on-demand on the Due Process website: dueprocesstv.rutgers.edu or on the NJTV website at http://www.njtvonline.org/due-process/.

In Vote to Advance the Opportunity to Compete Act, Labor Committee Recognized the Business Case for A3837

Let's take another moment to reflect upon Monday's victories: the Star Ledger's endorsement of the Opportunity to Compete Act (A3837) and the Assembly Labor Committee's vote to advance the bill. In the midst of doubt over whether the bill would move, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-15), a primary sponsor of the bill, responded within a week by gathering enough support to put the bill on the Labor Committee agenda and rallying proponents to vote the bill out of committee. The vote to advance the bill has roused momentum for this critically important piece of legislation. While we still have much work ahead of us, the arc indeed is bending closer and closer to justice.

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Proposed Act Gives Job Seekers With Criminal Records a Fair Chance

New Jersey Law Journal July 19, 2013 What the Opportunity to Compete Act would do is provide people a reasonable chance to get a job and work hard. Nothing more, nothing less. To read full letter to the editor, click below. New Jersey Law Journal letter to the editor regarding New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act By Cornell William Brooks, Esq., and Craig Levine, Esq., of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice  

Groups seek to end solitary confinement of juveniles in N.J.

Seeking to end solitary confinement of children in New Jersey juvenile detention centers, civil rights organizations on Monday filed a petition with the state proposing new limits on what they say is a psychologically damaging - and poorly regulated - form of discipline.

Led by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, nine groups are pushing for changes to the rules governing juvenile detention centers, including eliminating the state's authority to hold children for up to five days in solitary confinement as punishment or pending a disciplinary hearing.

The petition cites an "emerging body of social scientific literature" about the harmful effects of solitary confinement - particularly on young people - and a movement nationwide to eliminate or restrict the practice.In New Jersey, state officials have released no data on the numbers of children being held in isolation in detention centers.

But the groups behind the petition say the practice is common, often administered arbitrarily - and sometimes with devastating consequences.One boy, in trouble for stealing a bicycle, hung himself some years ago after he was placed in an isolation cell, said Bonnie Kerness of the American Friends Service Committee, one of the groups that signed the petition.