CRIMINAL JUSTICE & MASS INCARCERATION
COVID-19 Update (4/24): On April 24, 2020, New Jersey Together escalated its campaign to get Gov. Murphy to proactively test people in state prisons & those returning home. As of 4/23, 19 people in prison are dead and the state is claiming only 105 people are infected. (Currently, the only way for someone in prison to be tested is to be sick enough to be transported to an outside hospital.) Get Involved.
COVID-19 Update (May 2020): After pressure in statewide & national press, Gov. Murphy announced that there would be universal testing in Department of Corrections facilities. This testing is continuing & a positive step. But there continues to be delays around furloughs and other actions for those who are eligible.
On March 16th, Jersey City Together & New Jersey Together launched a campaign to address issues related to criminal justice & mass incarceration. This took place after our team listened to more than 500 people who were directly impacted the issue -- in our congregations, through local non-profits and parents' groups, and on the streets.
We heard repeated themes, and conducted further research to identify the scale of the need. Conservatively, more than 50,000 current Jersey City residents have spent time in jail or prison. Across New Jersey, that number is more than 1 million.
As we listened, we heard how issues related to criminal justice and mass incarceration have built a wall that holds back whole communities -- particularly communities of color and low-income communities -- in Jersey City & across New Jersey.
And while there has been progress, it is far from enough.
This wall has been constructed brick by brick by politicians and corporations with power. If we're going to dismantle it, we're going to have to build a different kind of power, to find allies across the state, and to work strategically -- brick by brick -- to dismantle a system of injustice.
To begin our work, we have identified 3 simple actions that could be taken by judges & state officials now that would benefit tens of thousands of New Jerseyans. Check back soon for details.