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                          NJACA Newsletter
                                  April 2014
The President's Message:
     It looks like we may be back on mission, two newsletters in a reasonable amount of time. I want to thank Pat McKernan and her intern, Emily Henry, for all their hard work on putting the past two newsletters together. I also want to thank all those folks who contributed articles to these two efforts.  
     We so often get lost in the day to day challenges of our job that we forget there is a bigger world out there. To me, one of the most positive experiences in being a NJACA board member is the opportunity I get to interact and network with folks in other parts of the corrections business. For example, learning about all the positive steps that our county jails are taking to address mental health, substance abuse and reentry issues would probably not happen if I didn’t sit around a table with folks who were leading those efforts.
     On April 22nd, we will be having a conference at the Conference Center in East Windsor or as we say in NJ, Exit 8. The theme Gangs: Research, Trends and Interventions brings a group of well informed individuals to help us navigate our way through what’s going on both in NJ and the world around us.  Again kudos to Pat McKernan, Emily Henry and Sherry Sandler for all their hard work on this conference. And thanks to CFG for their sponsorship of the lunch and the NJ Wardens Association for sponsoring our breakfast. Without their support we would be unable to bring this kind of quality event at an affordable cost for our membership.
     More good news, the Middle Atlantic States Correctional Association will be having their 2015 conference in Atlantic City in June. NJACA will be cosponsoring that event. The planning committee has already begun meeting to discuss schedules and workshop themes. If you have any ideas of content  that you would like covered send it to me @ and I’ll forward it to the planning group.
If you have not picked up on it, I feel very strongly about the positives you gain from the networking opportunities that are inherent in participation in professional organizations. So to reinforce my point there will be new rules at all NJACA events. Rule # 1: You are not allowed to sit at a table at any meals with more than one person you know. Rule # 2: You are required in each session/workshop to walk up to at least one person you don’t know and ask them their name and what they do.  Rule#3: Whenever I’m on the podium clap and laugh at all the appropriate time. Rule #4: Recruit a couple of colleagues as members.

James Hemm
     Corrections and Treatment
The Unique Potential of a Correctional Environment

     As we know behaviors motivated by illness (mental health and/or substance abuse) rather than pure criminal intent are best augmented by rehabilitative responses. Corrections by way of inhabitant need have become the defacto residential care center. Hudson County Corrections has more than 400 inmates on psych medications as well as 80 inmates enrolled in certified substance abuse treatment at all times. Corrections is defined by a population in need of clinical services, however, is run by law enforcement. Thus, law enforcement can either accept their expanding responsibility in providing for public safety, embracing intervention, or simply hold inmates and rely on client compliance with the clinical world at the time of release. Hudson County has recently experienced a cultural shift in law enforcement. A healthy balance of punitive and rehabilitative responses to behavior has been accepted. Examining the potential benefits of this shift is important.
     The most in common treatment provider for a substantial population suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues is the County Correctional Center. The County Correctional system is best equated to a triage unit. The County Correctional system is defined by a population with chronic mental health and substance abuse issues. In the community this population functions at a significantly low level. Community functioning is a result of a lack of access to treatment and resources to provide for interventions and a lack of understanding of one’s own illness. Corrections provide for immediate access as well as mandates compliance to treatment. The structure of a correctional environment raises the level of functioning in an otherwise unstable population. It is during this rare period of stability that clinical treatment has its greatest potential to positively augment behavior.

     Corrections capacity to introduce healthy interventions during a heightened level of functioning is the preliminary step to building attachments to treatment. Without matching correction based interventions with community based providers the client’s stable state will be lost at the time of release. Reentry programming is essential to executing and monitoring community based treatment plans so to maintain stability.

     Introducing clinical and social services in the traditionally punitive culture of corrections is reliant on an acceptance from law enforcement. Corrections as a law enforcement agency has the influence to persuade court and community police to mandate external programming. Hudson County Department of Corrections has been successful in the development of rehabilitative response to criminal behavior. The potential impact the correctional environment has on functioning and how to best continue the influence of interventions in the community is great when corrections assumes the role of conductor of services.      
Fugitive Safe Surrender Sets New Record: Nearly 5,000 Peacefully Surrendered to Resolve Approximately 10,000 Nonviolent Warrants
Striking Turnout Makes FSS-Jersey City the Largest Such Event Held in New Jersey, Third-Largest in the Nation
New Jersey Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a record-breaking total of 4,587 individuals voluntarily and peacefully turned themselves in at Fugitive Safe Surrender, to resolve an estimated total of approximately 10,000 nonviolent criminal and civil warrants between Wednesday, November 6 and Saturday, November 9 at Evangelismos Church in Jersey City.
This striking result represents the highest turnout of all five Fugitive Safe Surrender events held so far in New Jersey.   (The previous record was set at New Jersey’s second FSS event, held 2009 in Newark).   With this event, a total of nearly 18,000 individuals have turned themselves in at New Jersey’s five Fugitive Safe Surrender opportunities.
The FSS event in Jersey City also had the third-highest turnout of the 26 Fugitive Safe Surrender events held nationwide since 2005, surpassed only by those held in the much larger cities of Cleveland (where 7,200 fugitives surrendered in 2010) and Detroit (where 6,578 surrendered in 2008).
“This Fugitive Safe Surrender event was a tremendous, record-breaking success that will touch thousands of lives for the better – not just the nearly 5,000 individuals who surrendered, but the lives of their loved ones and fellow New Jerseyans,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “By offering favorable consideration, not amnesty, New Jersey has helped an astounding 18,000 individuals begin to build new lives through Fugitive Safe Surrender.  This is exactly the sort of collaborative partnership that helps break the cycle of unlawful behavior and makes our communities safer.”
New Jersey State Parole Board Chairman James T. Plousis said, “The number of peaceful surrenders has exceeded our expectations and resulted in the third-largest Fugitive Safe Surrender event in the nation.  Every single individual who took advantage of this program has made New Jersey safer.  The former fugitives can finally walk in public without the fear that they will be stopped by law enforcement.  This in turn frees up police resources that can better be used on other public safety matters.”
One success story from this Fugitive Safe Surrender event is that of Dessaix Maurissette, 25, a Jersey City resident who was wanted on multiple warrants for which he owed more than $2,000 due to traffic violations.  Mr. Maurissette said he had paid surcharges but struggled to pay the total amount owed in multiple municipalities. 
Mr. Maurissette said, “I realized it’s time to plan for my future, and to stop being held back by expensive mistakes made when I was younger.  I plan to get married and start a family someday.  I realized I can no longer live with the fear that I might get pulled over and taken to jail while trying to drive my wife to deliver a baby, or driving to pick up diapers.  Fugitive Safe Surrender gave me my future.  I was able to resolve my matters with a single $100 payment, clear my warrants, and finally breathe as a free person.”
Another success story is that of Eddie Restrepo. Mr. Restrepo, 33, of West New York, lived in fear for years under the weight of multiple unpaid traffic tickets. But after he turned himself into the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program in Jersey City Wednesday morning, he walked away a free man with a clean record.  Mr. Restrepo expected to pay thousands in fines but instead paid only a few hundred to resolve his warrants. After completing the Fugitive Safe Surrender program, he immediately decided to help out and has been volunteering at the program since Wednesday.
“This really saved my life,” Mr. Restrepo said. “It was a load off my back. I felt free.”
Fugitive Safe Surrender offered favorable consideration, not amnesty, to U.S. citizens and legal residents who were wanted on warrants for non-violent criminal or municipal matters.
The final results of the Fugitive Safe Surrender initiative held in Jersey City are as follows:
  • A total of 4,587 individuals surrendered at Fugitive Safe Surrender between Wednesday, November 6 and Saturday, November 9.  They resolved an estimated total of approximately 8,000  non-violent warrants.
  • This is the highest turnout of all five Fugitive Safe Surrender events held in New Jersey, and brings New Jersey’s FSS total to 17,863 individuals who surrendered. (A total of 2,245 surrendered at FSS-Camden in 2008, 4,103 at FSS-Newark in 2009, 3,901 at FSS-Somerset/New Brunswick in 2010, and 3,027 at FSS-Atlantic City in 2012).
  • This is the third-highest turnout of the 26 Fugitive Safe Surrender events held nationwide. In addition, New Jersey’s five events rank third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh among those held nationwide.  The first and second place still belong to Cleveland and Detroit, two of America’s largest cities.
The economic impact:
  • A total of approximately $40,000 in municipal and superior court income was collected during the four-day event.
  • More will be collected as hundreds of overflow cases are heard this week.  Still more will be collected on a scheduled basis from those assigned payment plans.
  • In addition, each person who surrenders represents an estimated savings of $500 to local governments.  This very conservative estimate is based on the police and jail costs involved in processing someone wanted on a municipal traffic warrant. 
  • Additional economic benefits follow when the former fugitives become eligible to apply for driver’s license reinstatement, and the employment and other opportunities that come with having a state-issued identification and privilege to drive.
  • Still greater intangible benefits result when individuals are free to stop hiding from the law and to become contributing members of their families and society.
Other statistics:
  • Of the nearly 5,000 who surrendered, only two were taken into custody.  This is because the vast majority of participants were wanted for non-violent matters and had no violent criminal history.
  • An estimated 63 percent were wanted for traffic warrants.
  • An estimated 33 percent were wanted for misdemeanor criminal warrants.
  • An estimated 4 percent were wanted for child support, family court, or probation warrants.
  • A number estimated at less than one percent were wanted for felony warrants.
Fugitive Safe Surrender was made possible by a partnership led by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Parole Board, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, New Jersey Department of Corrections, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, New Jersey Office of Information Technology, and New Jersey Transit.
Key partners included Sheriff Michael Saudino, Bergen County, Sheriff Frank Schillari, Hudson County and Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik, Passaic County along with members of their staff.
Hudson County Department of Corrections
Community Reintegration Program
Developing a new structure of cultural norms and values
Theoretical Orientation: 
Social learning theory emphasis human behavior and decision making as developed through a system of values and norms. Values and norms according social learning develop through social, primary, and environmental interactions. Thomas (1997) reported social learning is defined as an individual adapting the values and norms of the group and culture they live in.  The development of programming intended to remove criminal thinking is reliant on an understanding of each client’s environment and attachments.  
The expressive majority of HCDOC CRP clients have developed addictions early in adolescent development. This population has cites inauguration into drug and/or alcohol use as a result of interactions with peers, parental figures, and accessibility their developmental environment provides in regards to the attainment of narcotics.

Corrections Based Treatment: 
The HCDOC CRP has introduced New Jersey Division of Addiction Services Certified Residentially based Substance Abuse Treatment into the correctional environment. This level of care is unique in a regional correctional facility. There is no loftier illustration of the HCDOC’s commitment to a rehabilitative move towards to corrections than providing inmates access to inpatient based treatment.
Integrity house works in treatment to establish a better understanding of one’s environment and the role institutions and attachments plays in decision making. Integrity develops client moral judgment and applies it to ethical decision making. The understanding client decisions are made on an instant gratification axis with small regard given to consequence has in part helped develop a theoretical approach to treatment specific to the HCDOC population.

Community Based Partners: Source of New Environmental Value System
The HCDOC CRP treatment model is based on the creation of an environment which promotes socially accepted norms, attachments to positive rehabilitative cultures can be established, bonds can be developed amongst peers who promote more positive values and norms, family re-unification with primary supports providing for a more positive influence can be developed, and structure implemented to sponsor adherence to intervention.
The inmate population is in a stable state, functioning at a high level, and is more receptive to the benefit of positive interventions while incarcerated. The County Correctional system can be equated to a triage unit. The inmate population at a county level is introduced to institutional structure directly from street. Many entering the HCDOC are so hours after arrest. As a result of instructional structure the level of functioning from the community to the jail is intensely augmented. 
External or environmental causes which improve the level of functioning are eliminated when an individual is released from the correctional environment. The Community Reintegration Program (CRP) was launched in October of 2009. The principle goal is to reduce recidivism in a targeted population as well as augment public safety through the reduction of crime.
CRP clients in need of housing are granted access to a stable substance and alcohol free living environment. Partnerships with 3 Transitional Housing programs permit the CRP to provide a higher quality of board than is traditionally granted through shelter placements.
In an effort to build a relationship with a supportive as well as rehabilitative culture the CRP has partnered with two Day Treatment programs which focus on Mental Health employing cognitive behavioral interventions. The objective of day treatment is to introduce the client to counseling, educational, and vocational services in an atmosphere promoting more positive and socially      
The CRP has partnered with New Jersey Division of Addiction Services certified Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) for all catchment areas in Hudson County. accepted norms and values. 

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