Alumni of several reentry programs in New Jersey, in addition to former inmates and parolees who are living successfully in the community, will gather for an annual barbecue in Iselin, New Jersey, on Sept. 16.
The event, which has been held since 1999, will be hosted by GEO Reentry Services, formerly Community Education Centers, Inc., and Education & Health Centers of America. The free event will be held at Merrill Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will include program staff, participants’ families and representatives from the New Jersey Parole Board.
The event is a positive reminder to former inmates and parolees that their road to success is supported by the community and that they are not alone in their recovery. Moved to September this year, the event coincides with other nationwide celebrations and rallies related to SAMHSA’s National Recovery Month.
In addition to including family-friendly activities like face painting, a petting zoo, contests, games and karaoke, the event will feature a back-to-school supply giveaway for participants and their children.
Reentry program alumni will be shuttled to the event from different GEO Reentry locations in the state courtesy of GEO Reentry.
GEO Reentry provides a wide range of reentry services for the New Jersey Parole Board, including residential and nonresidential reentry programs for parolees returning from incarceration to the community. These programs offer evidence-based practices, including cognitive behavioral treatment services, designed to reduce recidivism.
Pro-social events are an essential part of GEO Reentry’s programming services because they are a positive way to reinforce attitudes and actions that help program alumni continue to uphold crime-free lifestyles. Celebrating program alumni is another core value of GEO Reentry. Recovery is a long process and it takes a lot of hard work and personal accountability. Program alumni have come a long way and deserve recognition.