In the News

NJISJ has Graduation for Metro Newark Brownfields Training Program

NEWARK, NJ- December 11, 2012. The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice is pleased to announce the graduation of its second Metro Newark Brownfields Training Program class was held on Tuesday, December 11 at 5:30pm at New Jersey Historical Society. (read more)




Newark Passes Comprehensive Ban the Box Ordinance

On September 19th, the City of Newark took a major step toward leveling the playing field for all job applicants by passing the most comprehensive Ban the Box ordinance in the country. Councilmember Ron C. Rice, Jr. sponsored the ordinance, which was drafted in close consultation with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (“NJISJ”) Justice Alliance. Major cities, including Philadelphia and San Francisco have passed similar laws, as well as several states (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico and Connecticut. (read more)




Veteran's Employment Challenges. A Survey by Prudential

Veterans say finding a job is their greatest challenge when returning to civilian life New Prudential survey focuses on Veterans’ perceptions and experiences transitioning from military to civilian life Prudential recently conducted a landmark study on the employment challenges Veterans face when transitioning from military to civilian life. And according to the study, nearly 70 percent of Veterans said "finding a job" is their greatest challenge. 

Women, Minorities to Benefit Under Construction Training Program

Dozens of Newark residents will receive job training and placement in city construction projects under a $300,000 grant announced today by public officials and labor leaders.

The funds will be used to train about 40 women and minority residents, who will receive apprenticeships in the building and construction trades, according to a news release from acting Gov. Kim Guadagno's office.

James McQueeny Moderates Discussion on New Jersey Political Landscape

On July 26th, Charles A. Stanziale, Jr., partner at McCarter & English LLC, hosted a panel exploring the politics of New Jersey and of the upcoming presidential election at McCarter & English.  

Douglas S. Eakeley Moderates NJ Supreme Court Justices Panel on the Legacy of Justice Brennan

On July 12th, Douglas S. Eakeley, Member of Lowenstein Sandler PC moderated a panel exploring the jurisprudence of Supreme Court Justice William Brennan at the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark. Gary Wingens, Managing Partner at Lowenstein, provided welcome remarks as the Lowenstein firm hosted the event.

The panel, titled “The Legacy of Justice Brennan in the Twenty-First Century” featured New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Anne Patterson, former New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice James Zazzali and former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice James Coleman. Mr. Eakeley and the Justices engaged a diverse audience of dozens of practitioners, legal interns and policy students in a thoughtful discussion of how Justice Brennan ascended to the highest court in the land, how his time on the New Jersey Supreme Court informed his later jurisprudence and how many of his 1360 published opinions as a US Supreme Court Justice, which is second only to Justice Douglas, directly impacted members of the New Jersey Supreme Court.


NJ Should Ban Arrests from Job Applications

On April 25, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a revised enforcement guidance on using criminal records in employment decisions. This groundbreaking guidance marks the first time the EEOC — the federal agency charged with interpreting and enforcing federal employment discrimination law — has said certain uses of criminal history is discrimination. Without question, this is a laudable development.

The proliferation of background checks on job applicants, coupled with the widespread public availability of arrest and conviction information, has contributed to persistent barriers to employment (and increased likelihood of recidivism) for people with criminal histories.

NJ Supreme Court Mulls Rules for Trying Juveniles as Adults

Who should decide when to put a child on trial in adult court, where the penalties are far more severe and the loss of anonymity is permanent?

That was the question before the New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday, when the justices were asked to weigh the merits of state laws that allow county prosecutors to make that determination — and then require state judges to uphold those calls unless they involve an outrageous blunder.

The stakes are high for hundreds of teens who end up in adult courts each year, some facing up to life in prison. In Bergen County, 31 cases have been transferred since the start of 2006. In Passaic County, 15 to 20 are moved each year.

Councilman Pushes for 'Ban the Box' Legislation in Newark

November 22, 2011 Newark Patch By Joshua Wilwohl Newark Councilman Ronald C. Rice wants ex-offenders treated equally among candidates applying for city jobs. Rice said he will propose legislation next month before city council that would ban municipal employment applications from asking about criminal history, "I want to be able to allow a person to give an explanation about their criminal history." The councilman joined roughly 20 Newark residents Monday afternoon for a public hearing about the measure. The legislation is part of a nationwide campaign called "Ban the Box," referring to the box applicants check when asked if they've been convicted of a crime. So far, 24 U.S. cities, including Boston and San Francisco, and three U.S. counties have "banned the box," according to the National Employment Law Project. In Newark, Rice's ordinance is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. "For people who have served their debt to society, this is an opportunity for them to get employment," said Scott Nolen, communications director of the institute, before the hearing. Rice said "Ban the Box" is a procedural law that limits asking about criminal history on initial job applications — it does not prevent employers from conducting background checks. Julien Neals, Newark's business administrator, said the Mayor Cory Booker administration supports the ordinance, "This can empower Newarkers and it's very germane to a number of the population." In the past, Booker has been a fan of programs that benefit ex-offenders, going as far as posting YouTube videos, explaining job initiatives for people previously incarcerated. The city also has its own prisoner re-entry program. Booker was unavailable for comment. Data from a 2009 prisoner re-entry study, conducted by the Manhattan Institute, showed roughly a quarter of Newark's 280,000 residents "have, at one time or another, been 'involved' with the criminal justice system." Some 1,700 ex-offenders return to the city from state prison each year and another 1,400 return from Essex County jail each month, according to the data. It's unclear if those numbers have changed in the past two years, but Nolen said his organization is conducting a study on criminal history and employment in Newark, which is expected to be released next spring. During the hour-long hearing, Rice heard from Newark residents who support the ordinance. None opposed. Nicole Singletary, 33, told the councilman she has a friend with a criminal history who applied for a job in Newark and was rejected, "Everyone should be able to have the same opportunity."

New Jersey Department of Labor Commissioner attends Women Build graduation, held by NJISJ

NEWARK, NJ - Commissioner Harold J. Wirths of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently attended a graduation ceremony for graduates of the “Women Build” program held by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ).

Ten women who completed the eight-week, pre-apprenticeship course were issued certificates during a service held inside the PSE&G Building in Newark.

The administration of Governor Chris Christie, through the Department of Labor, awarded two $300,000 grants, one each to the NJISJ and the Hispanic Family Center, to pilot the Women Build program. The initiative serves low-income and low-skilled women by preparing them for entry into construction trades and nontraditional occupations.

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