Regarding the Administration’s decision to freeze over $31 million in funding for re-entry and inmate rehabilitation programs, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington) released the following statement today:
“Re-entry and rehabilitation programs for former inmates are vital to giving offenders a second chance at life and to help them become productive members of our society.
“These programs help former inmates assimilate after their release. Providing assistance to find housing and employment, re-entry programs also helps to significantly reduce recidivism.
“It is critically important that we do all we can to help these individuals become law-abiding citizens who can give back to communities, rejoin their families and fully participate in their lives.
“Over $30 million has been put in a reserve instead of going directly to these community-based programs working to change someone’s life. This is not how a budget, which has been signed and its revenues certified, is supposed to work. And it’s not acceptable. We stand by our numbers, and the budget we delivered to the Governor.
“Whose side are we on? We’re on the side of those with empathy and understanding and who believe that many truly deserve a second shot. We’re on the side of residents who want more than anything to get on the right path and stay on it. We’re on the side of the counselors, and the administrators of these programs who understand that the work they are doing makes a difference to families, to our communities and, most importantly, to the people they serve.”