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Gannon and McGreevey join forces to help Morris inmates re-join society
Gannon and McGreevey join forces to help Morris inmates re-join society
Gannon and McGreevey join forces to help Morris inmates re-join society

Published on: 09/18/2023



Forty-seven percent of inmates released from the Morris County Jail will be back, according to statistics from Sheriff James Gannon’s office.

In hopes of slowing that revolving door, Gannon on Monday announced a partnership with former Gov. James McGreevey’s New Jersey Reentry Corp. (NJRC) for services to help prisoners re-enter society after they have served their time.

Former Gov. Jim McGreevey speaks at the Morris County Jail, Sept. 18, 2023. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The NJRC helps clients secure identification documents–birth certificates, Social Security cards, drivers licenses–essential for obtaining services and employment.

It also connects them with health care; housing; counseling; job training; and legal assistance, to resolve lingering warrants and fines, and to seek expungements of criminal records.

The NJRC claims it has reduced criminal recidivism significantly: Only 19 percent of its graduates get re-arrested, and just 10 percent land back behind bars, according to McGreevey.

“We’re grateful for this opportunity,” McGreevey said at the correctional facility in Morris Township.

The Democrat praised Gannon, a Republican, as “America’s sheriff,” for county programs such as Hope One — mobile units that deliver mental health and addiction recovery services — and STAR, the Successful Transition and Re-Entry Program.

“He believes in second chances, and accountability,” said McGreevey, who started the NJRC in 2014. Morris County becomes the nonprofit’s ninth outreach location, joining Jersey City, Newark, Hackensack, Paterson, Elizabeth, Carteret, Toms River and Neptune City.

Sheriff James Gannon speaks at the Morris County Jail, Sept. 18, 2023. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Gannon called McGreevey “a proven commodity” whose programs should help law enforcement achieve safer communities.

“We are personally involved and committed to investigating, arresting and moving for successful prosecution of people who commit crime. This is what we do, and we’re pretty good at it when crimes are committed,” the sheriff said.

“But an effective Sheriff’s Office, an effective police department and…an effective Prosecutor’s Office like we have here, does not necessarily have high arrest statistics… We want low crime rates. That’s what we want. We don’t want these offenses to occur.”

NJRC programs come at no cost to Morris taxpayers, Gannon added.


Helping inmates obtain I.D. documentation has been a key endeavor of his staff, the sheriff said.

“If you can’t prove who you are and what you do, you’re 0 for 2,” Gannon said.

Morris Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll listens to presentation at the Morris County Jail, Sept. 18, 2023. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Morris Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll echoed that point.

“People need an identity, to acknowledge to themselves ‘I am a person. I count. I matter,” Carroll said, emphasizing that compassion must be part of law enforcement’s toolkit.

The NJRC partnership is “a win for everybody,” the prosecutor said. “Preventing crime, deterring crime is everything.”

Response from the Morris jail population already has been high: 80 current or newly released inmates have requested NJRC referrals over the last five weeks, as sheriff’s officers alerted them to the partnership, said Joseph Fucci, division commander for support services at the jail.

Suzanne Herrmann, social worker for the NJ Reentry Corp. speaks at the Morris County Jail, as colleague Alexander Roth listens, Sept. 18, 2023. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Brief remarks were offered by G. David Scott, CEO of the Market Street Mission in Morristown; and by Robert Carter, Alexander Roth, Liz Granovsky and Suzanne Herrmann from McGreevey’s team.

Second chances resonate with McGreevey, who resigned as governor in 2004, coming out as gay to head off a lawsuit threatening to expose his extramarital affair with a man.

Since then, McGreevey has earned a divinity degree and led Jersey City’s Employment and Training Program for six years. At 66, he is contemplating a run for Jersey City mayor.

On Monday, he said he feels privileged to work with inmates who never enjoyed the advantages he had.

‘We all make mistakes. We all make errors,” McGreevey said.

Former Gov. Jim McGreevey, left, speaks with Market Street Mission Executive Director G. David Scott and Morris Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, at the Morris County Jail, Sept. 18, 2023. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Author : Kevin Coughlin

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