To build a safer and more just Mercer County through advocacy, awareness building, and collaborative action.
Homegoers returning to Mercer County will have the resources, guidance, and support to break the cycle of crime, achieve personal fulfillment, and strengthen their communities.
The Mercer County Reentry Task Force is a subcommittee of the Human Services Advisory Council. The group began in 2006 as the Mercer Ex-Offender Partnership. It changed its name in 2009 when it was connected to the county’s planning body for human services.
The Task Force has conducted focus groups of current and formerly incarcerated individuals to ascertain their needs and learn of gaps in the existing system of services. Members of the Task Force advocated for the passage of landmark reentry legislation, which was signed into law in January, 2010. The Task Force produced the document, “Challenges for Prisoner Reentry in New Jersey” to guide ongoing advocacy efforts.
In 2013, the Task Force instituted a new working group structure with the aim of improving reentry efforts in six key issue areas: Education and Training, Employment and Job Creation, Housing and Social Services, Health and Substance Abuse, Community Support and Mentoring, and Justice and Corrections. With administrative and research support from staff members and interns from The College of New Jersey, the group has been gradually expanding. In 2015 the Task Force began organizing several new initiatives including a statewide conference of county reentry task forces, which will enable collaboration between each of the counties. The Task Force also recently added to its personnel through its participation in the AmeriCorps VISTA program.