Reintegrating Ex-Offenders into Society During COVID-19

Recorded on 4/25/20, Steve Adubato is joined by Jim McGreevey, Former Governor of New Jersey and Chairman of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, to discuss how ex-offenders are reintegrating into society during the COVID-19 public health crisis and the critical role of the governor and state during this challenging time.

Jim McGreevey explains that many of these ex-offenders leaving prison and looking for shelters have been turned away because of high fevers and symptoms that may be unrelated to COVID-19. In addition, they are dealing with additional problems on top of being sick and being homeless. He explained, “They’re back out on the street, there’s an acute anxiety or depression, they’re also grappling with their addiction history and now many of them don’t have housing. So we’re just trying to hold onto them, so that they don’t, frankly, let it go.” McGreevey says these men and women are in need of three things: food, shelter, and medicine.

As Former Governor of New Jersey, McGreevey knows what it’s like to be a chief executive during a crisis. He adds, “I think it’s about action. It’s about understanding, at the end of the day, that you have to make people’s lives better. That you have to be willing to say what people don’t want to hear for the sake of the wellbeing of the state.” He says at the end of the day, while there are rules to follow, sometimes the rules need to be broken in order to protect as many people as possible.

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