Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) to prevent recidivism of released drug offenders by allowing these individuals to access job training and workforce education was advanced by the New Jersey Senate.
The state’s welfare reform program, WorkFirst NJ, emphasizes work as the first step toward building a new life and a brighter future. (WorkFirst NJ)
“This commonsense measure will allow more individuals to forge a path to a brighter future by eliminating the unnecessary exclusions established under current law,” Senator Singer said. “Improving access to job training will help those who have served their time secure meaningful employment and transition off government assistance, easing the financial burden on the state.”
Currently, individuals who have been convicted of an offense involving the use, possession, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance are ineligible to receive general assistance benefits under Work First New Jersey. Senator Singer’s bill, S-601 (Scs), ensures that those who have paid their debt to society are eligible for the same benefits as the general population.
Work First New Jersey, a welfare reform program, provides general assistance benefits, as well as access to job training, education and work activities, for a period of no more than five years. The program is designed to help people in need secure employment, get off welfare and become self-sufficient.
“Without workforce training, those with drug convictions will have few opportunities to lead productive lives or support their families,” Senator Singer added. “To make ends meet, many may return to criminal behavior and end up back in jail. Expanding eligibility to Work First New Jersey will prevent recidivism and help countless families break the cycle of poverty and crime.”
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