On Wednesday afternoon, clergy and community leaders from across the state will gather to celebrate Hudson County’s commitment to helping those incarcerated meet outstanding warrants, fines, fees, and detainers, through a petition in the courts. Organizers will urge other counties across the state to adopt similar reforms.
According to Mike Stanley, Lead Organizer of New Jersey Together who is sponsoring the event, “the program will highlight the importance of helping incarcerated people resolve their warrants and other legal challenges while they are incarcerated.”
Stanley said “speakers will include individuals and family members who have been harmed by the current process.”
In an Op-ed in the Newark Star Ledger, Boris Franklin, Lead Organizer of Jersey City Together and Stephon Whitley, an organizer of ONE Wake in North Carolina, wrote that a “spider’s web of fines and fees ensnares every incarcerated person.” Franklin and Whitley spent a combined total of more than 30 years in prison. “For us… imprisonment did not end when we walked out of the prison doors.”
The group intends to congratulate Hudson County, Hudson County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Commissioner Becky Scott, and Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea for their work on the issue.
According to event organizers, the initiative to address the issue began when members of New Jersey Together met with leaders of the Hudson County Correctional Facility, the Hudson County Prosecutor and Public Defender’s Office and the County Department of Housing and Community Reintegration , all of whom are said to be cooperating in the effort.
The program will take place at 3 pm at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church at 95 Clerk Street. Parking is available at 654 Ocean Ave.
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