Strengthening Jail and Prison Reentry through Community Engagement
In 2018, change agents within the Camden County (New Jersey) Department of Corrections introduced a five-pronged community engagement strategy to reduce the use of jail and improve reentry outcomes for people released from incarceration. Central to this strategy are the County’s NuEntry Opportunity Specialists, previously incarcerated individuals who serve as credible messengers to people released from incarceration and who work to reduce the stigma of incarceration through community education and outreach. This case study describes Camden County’s community engagement strategy and examines its implementation and reported impact. Lessons and recommendations derived from implementation of the county’s community engagement strategy and its sustainability efforts are also discussed.