NeighborCorps Re-Entry Services provides free, supportive services that help individuals to transition from Middlesex County Jail back into society and avoid recidivism. Because serving time doesn’t just impact the individual, but also affects families and communities, NeighborCorps works with Participants and their network of supportive family members and friends. Teams of trained volunteer Navigators help Participants navigate the various pillars of successful re-entry into society: finding gainful employment and housing, pursuing personal development including counseling or drug/alcohol treatment, and regaining the trust of others through communication and accountability.
Approximately 15,000 people are currently incarcerated in New Jersey1 – nearly 1000 in Middlesex County2. This year alone over 10,000 people will be released from New Jersey correctional facilities3. Without assistance, statistics show that 68% will be re-incarcerated within three years of their release4. And within 5 years of release, 84.1% of individuals who were age 24 or younger at release will be re- arrested5.
It is easy to forget that people who are incarcerated are brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. Incarceration isolates people from these vital relationships and disintegrates family and community structure, meaning individuals are often transitioning back into unstable or difficult situations.
NeighborCorps Re-Entry Services wants to change this dismal reality, starting in Middlesex County.
How NeighborCorps Re-Entry Services is Helping
Re-building relationships and connecting people post-release to people and services that can help and support them is vital to breaking the cycle of incarceration. Studies show that mentorship, rebuilding relationships, and successes in educational and employment experiences are transformational. Individuals in post-release mentorship programs are 39% less likely to become re-incarcerated and two times as likely to find employment while enrolled in a mentorship program6. This is what NeighborCorps does.
NeighborCorps bridges the often seemingly-insurmountable gap between release and successful reintegration into society by partnering with released individuals and supportive community members to walk the rocky road of re-entry together. Each participant receives a dedicated mentorship team of three volunteer Navigators to create goal-centered action plans that address common barriers to successful re-entry, such as employment, housing, education and vocational training, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and repairing broken relationships.
NeighborCorps Re-Entry Services is a program of Churches Improving Communities (CIC), a non-profit community development corporation that supports service and advocacy programs such as, food pantries and soup kitchens, temporary and permanent housing for the homeless, assistance to immigrants and the formerly incarcerated, ESL classes, disaster relief, and programs to assist seniors and youth. All CIC projects are non-religious, non-discriminatory, and are open to the public. Learn more at www.improvingnj.org .