Newark prisoner reentry program to focus on risk of homicides

By Noah Cohen | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on November 09, 2016

Mayor Ras Baraka and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker are set to announce to a new prisoner reentry program in Newark Nov. 10, 2016

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NEWARK — Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker on Thursday are set to announce a $1 million grant to fund a prisoner reentry program that targets offenders most likely to be victims or perpetrators in homicides.

The three-year program, called the Newark Reentry Initiative, will use data and other strategies to focus on people recently released from prison who are at the highest risk for being involved in killings, city officials said in a statement.

The program is a partnership between Newark and the Rutgers University – Newark School of Criminal Justice.

"In addition to decreasing recidivism, this program will positively impact violent crime in the City of Newark," the city's statement added.

U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr., Newark Office of Reentry Director Fred Murphy and Rutgers officials will announce details of the plan at a news conference scheduled for Thursday morning at the university.

The announcement came as city residents continued to mourn two children and a woman who were killed in a brutal stabbing Saturday. A popular street performer was shot to death in the city late Monday in another killing that has outraged residents.

A previous report authored by Rutgers School of Criminal Justice Professor Todd Clear found a large amount of the city's murder victims are those recently released from prison and most involve gangs.

Murders remain down slightly in Newark, according to law enforcement records. The city reported 77 killings as of Oct. 30 this year compared to 83 during the same time span last year.

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