Monday, May 28, 2012

NJ Lawmakers Are Reconsidering How Courts Deal With Low-level Offenders

In the mid-’80s, New Jersey adopted the “Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1986,” imposing mandatory minimum sentences for manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing controlled dangerous substances. A year later, the state adopted a law designating the area within 1,000 feet of a school a drug-free zone with mandatory minimum prison terms. A plan to eliminate criminal penalties for possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana appears likely to be approved next month by the NJ Assembly. Follow the link to read about it. -

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Newark Community Solutions lends a hand at AIDS Walk 2012

On Sunday May 20th, Newark Community Solutions and Newark Youth Court rounded up a group of 40 volunteers and joined thousands of others to support GHMC at AIDS Walk New York. GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. GMHC's mission is to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected. The AIDS Walk capped off a typical weekend of community service activities for NCS. The day before, Newark Youth Court members and youth respondents participated in a beautification and cleanup project in Mildred Helms Park in Newark's South Ward.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What's being done about gun violence?

Gun violence initiatives are all the rage. So much so that both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are supporting comprehensive initiatives to reduce gun violence statewide. Typically, these initiatives seek combine aggressive policing and prosecution of violent felons. Others look to divert the most risky offenders and potential offenders from the activities that may lead to future offending. One such example is Newark’s Crime Prevention and Recidivism Reduction Initiative (NCPRI), of which Newark Community Solutions is a partner. The program, an initiative of the Newark’s Department of Economic and Housing Development, is coordinated by Rutgers-Newark and focuses on the small number of people responsible for most violent crimes. NCPRI will enroll 150 participants between the ages of 18-30 who are at risk of incarceration or at high risk of committing a violent offense due to criminogenic risk factors. Over the course of the program, the participants will receive case management, transitional employment services and job placement. The goal of the program is to reduce the likelihood that these young people will re-offend or fall victim to violent crime. Stay tuned.