In June 29, 1961, the organization was created through the merger of The Citizens Association on Correction and The Morrow Association to form The Morrow Association on Correction. Named after Dwight W. Morrow, a leader in prison reform in New Jersey, our original purpose was described as the prevention of crime and delinquency and the rehabilitation and restoration of offenders to society. Some of our 25 founding board members are legends in certain circles in New Jersey and include among them Millicent Fenwick, Sanford Bates, and Edna Mahan.
In 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act created the Community Action Agency (CAA) as a response to the War on Poverty. CAAs were and are still today a network of organizations throughout the country with the purpose to serve as a local catalyst for the reduction of the causes, conditions, and effects of poverty and to provide social and economic opportunities that foster self-sufficiency for low-income people. Our designation as a limited purpose CAA is an appropriate mandate given the documented correlation between incarceration and poverty.
In 1966, we opened Clinton House, the first halfway house in New Jersey. This 40-bed work release program for men coming out of state prison is still operational in Trenton today.
In July 1972, we officially changed our name to the New Jersey Association on Correction (NJAC) which it would remain for the next 47 years.
In 1986, NJAC entered the field of domestic violence and sexual assault upon assuming the management of the victim service program in Passaic County, Passaic County Women’s Center.
In 1996, in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic that was devastating New Jersey, and especially communities of color, NJAC entered the field of care and treatment for people living with this disease through the provision of housing and other supports.
In 2002, we expanded our services to victims of domestic violence through the acquisition of the Camden County domestic violence program. In the last few years our reach has extended to the cause of abuse as we have taken on the difficult work of running several Batterers Intervention Programs.
In 2007, due to the advocacy work New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, a subsidiary of NJAC, the death penalty is abolished in New Jersey.
Over the last six decades we have operated numerous programs related to helping people build a better future. While fluctuations in funding availability did not permit them to remain open, they are an important part of our history. They include prevention and intervention programs for youth- the Program Alternative for Youth (PAY), Youth Court, Future Links (children of incarcerated parents), and care and treatment programs for individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and/or substance abuse-Broughton House, Project FIRST, PARTS, and SSHP.
Thank you for caring about our past and please join us as we Build Better Futures.