In the News

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


"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: or on the NJTV website at

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.




New Jersey Mayors Endorse the Opportunity to Compete Act

JERSEY CITY, NJ – December 4, 2013, 9:00 A.M.

This morning, New Jersey Mayors from across the state gathered at City Hall in Jersey City to express their enthusiastic support for the New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act (S2586)(“Ban the Box”) in advance of the New Jersey Legislature’s anticipated action on the bill this month. Press coverage of the event can be found here.

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