News

New Jersey Budget Aims to Drastically Cut NJRC Budget

By Christopher Zoukis A budget is a powerful thing. From a household budget that keeps a family out of consumer debt to a state budget that protects the welfare of millions of citizens, budgets have a huge impact on our daily lives. Of course, not everyone agrees on how to do a budget. For some,

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Soft-Skills Programming a Success in County Jail

Soft skills are essential to social integration. These are skills such as communication, empathy, organization and cognitive reasoning that enable people to interact more positively with each other. They’re non-academic skills that also help people become more accountable for their actions, and to pause and think before acting irrationally. While much focus is put on

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Not So Hard Time: How Some Inmates Find Success Post-release

The U.S. may have the worst recidivism rate in the world at 76.6 percent, but that doesn’t mean the system has failed every prisoner. There are a handful of inspiring stories about some that went to jail and used their time to turn their lives around, got out, and made lasting differences in their communities.

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From Inmate to Inspiration: Man Helps Prisoners and Youth Turn Lives Around

By Christopher Zoukis John Valverde is living proof that second chances are possible, and that the criminal justice system needs to be about more than just punishment — it should focus on rehabilitation and facilitating successful re-entry for the legions of ex-offenders who will eventually rejoin their communities. Valverde this year becomes CEO of YouthBuild

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From Ex-Prisoner to Professor and Prison Reform Advocate

Aaron Kinzel faced obstacles after being released from a 10-year prison stint, and now teaches criminology and is an active prison-reform advocate. By Christopher Zoukis It’s easy to think only of the crimes committed when words like “offender,” “incarceration” or “prisoner” come up. But we should remember that many offenders in our system of incarceration

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Changes to Pennsylvania DOC Improves Life for Prisoners, Staff

By Christopher Zoukis The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections spent 2016 making laudable strides toward helping improve the state of mass incarceration in this country. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel made a statement in December outlining improvements the Department of Corrections (DOC) has made in public, prisoner, and staff safety, improving transparency and fiscal responsibility, providing more

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Prison Misuse a Huge Burden on Taxpayers, Society

Mass incarceration costs billions each year, but the toll on society is not just financial. By Christopher Zoukis There are myriad issues with the current U.S. system of mass incarceration where more people are imprisoned than any other country in the world, and often in a hugely skewed manner — one which varies widely across

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Prison Entrepreneurship Project Reforming Lives

By Christopher Zoukis The Prison Entrepreneurship Project has helped transform more than 1,300 convicted felons into business graduates that have transitioned successfully back into society. The project focuses on male prisoners, and is a comprehensive, holistic program aimed at reducing recidivism, giving second chances to ex-offenders, and helping to ensure successful reintegration into their communities.

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Yoga and Meditation Improve Life Behind Bars and Beyond

By Christopher Zoukis The Bureau of Justice Statistics has found that within five years of release, 76 percent of prisoners released in the U.S. reoffend. Breaking this cycle requires radical reforms in rehabilitation methods, and some surprising approaches are showing promising results —  downward dog and mantra chanting. Educational and vocational programs already in place for

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