On Wednesday afternoon, clergy and community leaders from around the state will gather to celebrate Hudson County’s commitment to help incarcerated people address outstanding warrants, fines, fees, and detainers, by petitioning the courts. Organizers will urge other counties throughout the state to adopt similar reforms.
According to Mike Stanley, Lead Organizer of New Jersey Together which is sponsoring the event, “the program will lay out the importance of helping people who are incarcerated resolve their warrants and other legal challenges while they are incarcerated.”
Says Stanley “speakers will include individuals and family members who have been harmed by the existing process.”
In an Op-ed in the Newark Star Ledger, Boris Franklin, Lead Organizer of Jersey City Together and Stephon Whitley, an organizer with 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 gates.”
The group intends to congratulate Hudson County, the 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 started when members of New Jersey Together met with the 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 which are reportedly cooperating in the effort.
The program will take place at 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church at 95 Clerk Street. Parking is available at 654 Ocean Ave.
Photo by RODNAE Productions