Bipartisan Singleton Bill That Would Provide Career Paths for Ex-Offenders Advances in Legislature

TRENTON, NJ — Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) and Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris/Passaic) that would help to provide career pathways to ex-offenders has advanced in the Legislature.

S-2583, which would establish a program to provide employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals, passed out of the Senate Labor Committee on Thursday.

“After formerly incarcerated people re-enter society, both their record and the time lost while incarcerated can make it incredibly challenging to find well-paying, viable career opportunities,” said Senator Singleton. “In fact, more than 60% remain unemployed a year after release. The lack of opportunity can sometimes lead to recidivism, leading to more time in prison and further exacerbating their difficulties. Through a new Second Chance Program, we can connect them to opportunities for training and employment, thus reducing recidivism and helping them to have a successful reentry into the workforce.”

The legislation would establish the Second Chance Program within the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and would instruct the Department to coordinate with labor organizations to provide viable career opportunities for New Jersey residents recently released from prison.

"It can be extremely difficult for individuals to secure employment opportunities necessary for self-sufficiency after serving their time and reintegration into society," said Senator Bucco. "The combination of a criminal record and insufficient job training creates substantial hurdles to employment, leading to an increased risk of recidivism. By establishing the Second Chance Program we can address this unfortunate reality by linking formerly incarcerated individuals with viable employment opportunities, enabling them to become productive members of our communities."

To read the full piece of legislation, click here.

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