Some young people coming home from youth prisons under New Jersey’s new COVID-19 public health emergency law will get care packages from Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc., the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ), and justice-reform themed apparel company, FCK Prison.
YAP partners with systems across the U.S. to provide community-based alternatives to youth incarceration and placement. The nonprofit will provide re-entry and aftercare services to some of the recently released NJ youth. NJISJ exposes and repairs the foundation of structural racism and advocates for systemic reform nationally. Founded by Shawn Hartwell in 2018 after he returned home from prison, the FCK Prison brand has grown in popularity with activists and celebrities.
The care packages include masks, socks, a donated gift card from NJISJ, and contact information for regional YAP office leaders, who will provide Hartwell’s new Forget Prison collection warmup suits to the first 50 youths who connect with them.
“Like YAP, NJISJ and Shawn’s company are focused on lifting up and bringing opportunities to young people who too often fall through systemic cracks,” said YAP Northern-Metro New Jersey and Delaware Director of Operations Fred Fogg. “We’re grateful to NJISJ and Shawn for this opportunity to let these young people know we are here for them.”
Fogg is working with NJISJ to distribute the care packages to the young people as they return to their communities.
NJISJ and other advocates pushed for the Public Health Emergency Credits legislation to reduce the prison population to combat COVID-19 among incarcerated people and correctional staff in New Jersey. The state has had some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infection and death rates in the U.S. The new law provides a way for incarcerated adults and youth whose sentences are ending within a year to shave months off their sentences.