Second Chance NJ is a non-profit organization (we are applying for 501 (c) (3) status), created by Jim Flynn (Jersey Shore Restaurant Week, Shore Foodie), Joe Introna (Joe Leone's Italian Specialties), Terry Eleftheriou (Shipwreck Grill), Chris Brandl (Brandl Restaurant) and Marilyn Schlossbach (Langosta Lounge, Pop's Garage) to train and place previously incarcerated people in the hospitality industry. High rates of recidivism (individuals returning to jail/prison after release) and the difficulty the food industry has in attracting and hiring long-term employees make this a project that can solve two serious problems in our community.
This fund raiser will provide the resources to initiate the program while we await 501 (c) (3) status which will allow us to solicit funds and build an endowment from philanthropic organizations. $35,000 will allow us to put 10 people through the program.
• According to NJDOC, nearly 11,000 prisoners are released each year.
• Of those, 53% are rearrested within three years, 40% are reconvicted and 31% are reincarcerated.
COST OF RECIDIVISM TO SOCIETY
• The 31% reincarcerated individuals cost the state nearly $200 million a year
• A failure to find legitimate housing and employment results in an increase in gangs and violence.
• Former prisoners make up a large percentage of “overutilizers,” or “super-utilizers,” of costly emergency health care services. They account for only five percent of the population but approximately 50 percent of emergency healthcare expenditures
CAUSES OF RECIDIVISM
Low levels of educational achievement, limited opportunities for employment (many employers will not hire former prisoners) difficulty in obtaining housing, alcohol and drug addictions, an array of chronic physical and mental health disorders and lack of supervision all contribute to high levels of recidivism.
• 33% of released prisoners have no high school diploma
• 33% have mental or physical disabilities
• 85% are substance involved
• Max-outs (those who served their full term) are rearrested at a rate of 63% while parolees (those with supervision) are rearrested at a rate of 46%
SECOND CHANCE PROGRAM
1. Individuals selected for the program will receive an extensive 6-week introduction to the culinary arts, tuition free.
2. Program participants will receive a weekly salary during the duration of the program.
3. Successful graduates of the program will be placed in a predetermined restaurant to begin their apprenticeship.
4. Apprenticeship programs will last 90 days and with the goal of an offer for full time employment
5. Program participants will be given assistance in obtaining housing, earning a GED, getting medical insurance and more