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OTS Social Service Assistance

Release Transportation Assistance
NJ DOC has formal procedures to ensure that offenders leaving the custody of the department are afforded the opportunity to purchase discount NJ transit bus and rail tickets. Prior to their release from custody every inmate is interviewed and offered the opportunity to purchased bus or rail tickets to aid in their transition into the community. Ticket prices are subject to change as set by the NJ Transit.

Get Your Vote Back Initiative
The goal of the initiative is to inform offenders of their legal right to vote once their sentence has expired. Offenders leaving custody receive a voter registration kit prior to their release from custody.

Who Am I?
The goal of the initiative is to inform assist offenders with obtaining the social security card and birth certificates prior to release. Under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Social Security Administration the department can assist offenders with obtaining a duplicate social security card. Strict federal guidelines apply therefore offenders are required to contact the social services department in their assigned facility to see if the qualify. Offenders can also receive assistance with applying to their birth certificates (all applicable fees apply). In addition to addressing issues pertaining to SSN Cards and Birth Certificates all NJDOC offenders are release with a temporary NJDOC ID card which they can use towards obtaining formal state identification.

Providing Re-Entry Public Assistance Resource Education (P.R.E.P.A.R.E.)
This service focuses on educating the offender on post release services that are available at their County Board of Social Services agency which include NJ SNAP, Work First NJ and Emergency Assistance. In an effort to ensure no one is over looked, each County Board of Social Services will receive a monthly listing of offenders who will be released in the upcoming month who have indicated their plan to visit the agency for assistance. Once released, the offender will follow up with the County Board of Social Services to interview for eligibility determination for these assistance programs.

In addition, OTS assists offenders in applying for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Offenders complete the NJ Family Care application or the Healthcare Marketplace application (if they plan to reside outside of New Jersey) 30 days prior to their release. OTS staff forwards the application to the respective healthcare agency on the day of their release. The healthcare agency will follow up with applicant post release to continue the application process. The NJ Family Care and Health Insurance Marketplace applications are located in the Fair Release and Reentry Act 2009 link, NJ Family Care tab.

OTS also provides pre-release interviews 3-6 months prior to an offender’s release for Veterans Benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance/Supplemental Security Income.  The interviews will determine eligibility.

  • Security Disability Insurance/Supplemental Security Income interviews are conducted for those with severe medical and/or mental health illnesses by a representative of the Social Security Administration.
  • Veterans Benefit interviews are conducted by a representative of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
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