Community Foundation of New Jersey

On Our 2015 Agenda: Juvenile Justice Reform

April 26, 2015

The Community Foundation of New Jersey, on behalf of and in partnership with many of its fundholders, has for more than a year focused on reforming New Jersey’s juvenile justice system.

Part of what got us involved was the story of L.B., a young man incarcerated in New Jersey, whose injuries in one of the state’s juvenile detention centers went ignored, and whose chance at rehabilitation was put on the back burner. Click here to read more of L.B.’s story.


L.B.’s story and others like it led our Leadership Committee in late 2013 to deploy a $30,000 grant to help fund the work of a part-time attorney with the Post-Disposition Advocacy Project at Rutgers School of Law-Newark’s Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic. That attorney, Eliza Nagel, spent day after day in New Jersey’s juvenile detention centers working one on one with incarcerated youth to ensure they were on the proper path toward rehabilitation.

Eliza later gave a particularly moving TEDx talk (click here for the video), and spoke at the Community Foundation (click here for the live-Twitterfeed).

Eliza’s work was part of a broader effort to build a case for reform. Our fundholders and CFNJ’s we found the work so important, we funded her work for an additional year, with generous support from the Fund for New Jersey.  These new grants mean that another fellow could be hired to augment Eliza’s role.

We will continue to provide updates on our work to reform juvenile justice in New Jersey throughout 2015.

If you would like to join our efforts to reform juvenile justice in New Jersey, click to give at the box at right or call Margarethe Laurenzi at 973-267-5533.