FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 17, 2008

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Mary Lynn Williams, 908-527-4346

 

Union County Juvenile Justice Initiative Receives “Best Practices” Award

Elizabeth, NJ-The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced the Union County Juvenile Expediting Team (UJET) program has been selected as the only “Best Practices Model” for Disproportionate Minority Contact Reduction in New Jersey and one of 14 nationwide by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

Administered by the Union County Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services, the UJET is a Union County government initiative which focuses on reducing the number of minority youth in the juvenile justice system. The initiative is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of volunteers that provide Family Court judges with alternatives to secure custody.

“This national recognition is important because the federal government now requires the state’s grant allocations to be used to reduce disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system,” said Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada. “Since the UJET is meeting this requirement, the county is in a good position to compete for additional federal and state grant dollars.

The UJET, established in 2004, has reduced the average daily population and recidivism rate among juveniles in custody awaiting community-based services and/or placement.

According to recent notification from the U.S. Department of Justice, OJJDP, Union County’s UJET initiative has been added to a newly designed database featuring intervention and prevention strategies that work to insure equal treatment of all youth.

Union County seeks to recruit and train additional volunteers for this award-winning initiative.
For information on the UJET program please call (908)527-4835.