Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

New Jersey

I. New Jersey Department of Labor

Contact:
New Jersey Department of Labor
P.O. Box 110
John Fitch Plaza, 13th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625
609-292-2000 
Web Site: www.state.nj.us/labor

Information about State Department of Labor resources may be of interest to:
• potential employers looking for incentives to hire individuals with criminal histories;
• service providers and individuals with criminal histories who are looking for assistance in finding employment; and
• researchers and policy makers looking at current programs to ascertain what programs are effective and serve their intended purpose.

A. Federal Bonding Program
The Federal Bonding Program provides fidelity bonding insurance coverage to individuals with criminal histories and other high-risk job applicants who are qualified, but fail to get jobs because regular commercial bonding is denied due to their backgrounds.

Contact:
NJ DOL Division of Employment & Training Services
P.O. Box 1055, John Fitch Plaza, 2nd Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625
Web Site: www.njsnap-ed.org/network/partners/.../partner_NJ_Labor.php

B. Tax Credits
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit to reduce the federal tax liability of private for profit employers to be used as an incentive for employers to hire individuals from eight different targeted groups: TANF recipients, veterans, ex-felons, high risk youth, summer youth, Food Stamp recipients, SSI recipients, and vocational rehabilitation referrals.

Contact:
New Jersey Department of Labor
John Fitch Plaza
P.O. Box 058
Trenton, NJ 08625
609-292-8112
609-777-1768 fax
Web Site: www.nj.gov/labor/

C. Unemployment Insurance Office
Unemployment compensation is a social insurance program designed to provide benefits to most individuals out of work, generally through no fault of their own, for periods between jobs. In order to be eligible for benefits, jobless workers must demonstrate that they have worked, usually measured by amount of wages and/or weeks of work, and must be able and available for work.

The unemployment compensation program is based upon federal law, but administered by states under state law.

Forms and information may be obtained at any local One-Stop Center and via the internet at the web site below. (Also see Section VII of this site “Local Service Providers.”)

Contact:
New Jersey Department of Labor
Division of Unemployment Insurance
Technical Support Unit
John Fitch Plaza
P.O. Box 058
Trenton, NJ 08625
609-292-7162
609-633-2884 fax
Web Site: www.state.nj.us/labor/ui/uiindex.html

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II. Criminal Record Repository

This is the agency individuals may contact to obtain a copy of their state rap sheet. The criminal record repository can also tell the individual who else is legally entitled to have access to his or her record.

            New Jersey State Police 
            P.O. Box 7068
            West Trenton, NJ 08628 
            609-882-2000
            Web Site: www.nj.gov/njsp/about/serv_chrc.html

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III. State Attorney General

Employers and service providers may obtain information from the state attorney general regarding occupational bars, the licensing of individuals with criminal records in certain jobs, and whether the state has laws that limit what employers may ask job applicants or protections against employment discrimination based on a criminal record.

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IV. State Department of Corrections

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V. New Jersey State Parole Board

New Jersey State Parole Board

Contact:
New Jersey State Parole Board
P.O. Box 862
Trenton, NJ 08625
609-292-4257
609-984-2188 fax
Web Site: www.state.nj.us/parole

A list of local Courhouse addresses: www.judiciary.state.nj.us/trial.htm

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VI. Legal Assistance

Free or low-cost legal resources, both in civil and criminal law, are helpful to individuals with criminal histories in learning about relevant state laws governing the expungement or sealing of criminal histories or addressing other legal issues resulting from having a criminal history.

A. State Public Defender

Contact:
Office of the Public Defender
P.O. Box 850
Trenton, NJ 08625
Web Site: www.state.nj.us/defender/

B. Legal Services

To locate specialized or local legal service providers, visit: www.lsnj.org/initiatives.htm and choose one of the two options.

Contact:
Legal Services of New Jersey
P.O. Box 1357
Edison, NJ 08818
888-576-5529
E-Mail: legalhelp@lsnj.org
Web Site: www.lsnj.org

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

Contact:
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
60 Park Place - 511
Newark, NJ 07102

C. State Bar Association

Contact:
New Jersey State Bar Association
New Jersey Law Center
One Constitution Square
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
732-249-5000
732-249-2815 fax
Web Site: www.njsba.com

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VII. Local Service Providers

Community agencies are available to assist individuals with criminal records find employment. This information will inform individuals with criminal records about government agencies and community-based organizations that assist with employment, education or vocational training. Researchers and policy makers may find this information useful in identifying agencies and service providers in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.

One-Stop Career Center

One-Stop Career Centers are part of the New Jersey Department of Labor. They provide free employment counseling and job search assistance. A list of local one-stop centers is available at the web site listed below.

Contact:
Web Site: www.wnjpin.net/oscc/index.html

The New Jersey Association on Correction

The New Jersey Association on Correction (NJAC) runs a number of criminal justice-focused residential facilities and resource centers. It also runs a number of residential facilities and community programs, some of which are focused on helping women and children, while others are intended to assist people with HIV and AIDS. These programs are located throughout the state. Among the issues addressed in NJAC’s criminal justice residential facilities are: employment, vocational training, money management, substance abuse, mental health, and constructive use of leisure time. Resource centers assist offenders and former offenders living in the community. They provide short-term counseling, housing advocacy, employment readiness and limited financial and transportation assistance. One location also offers a new program to assist with the reunion of women and their children following separation due to incarceration or court order. Staff also help clients with brokering services and making referrals for inmates needing assistance in preparing for release from state and county institutions. Resource centers and residential programs are located in Trenton and New Brunswick. The women’s program is located in Patterson. The HIV/AIDS facility is in Newark.

Contact:
The New Jersey Association on Correction
986 South Broad St.
Trenton, NJ 08611
609-396-8900

Offender Aid and Restoration of Essex County

Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) assists people with criminal records re-enter the community. In addition to helping clients acquire current forms of identification, OAR provides job development and placement services. Other services include transportation support and referrals for substance abuse treatment.

Contact:
Offender Aid and Restoration of Essex County
164 Clinton Ave., St. 170
Irvington, NJ 07111
973-373-0100
973-373-0500 fax

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