Poverty and the Criminal Justice System



Due to a variety of societal conditions, including racism and poverty, people of color are grossly overrepresented in New Jersey’s criminal and juvenile justice systems. Further, widespread criminal record discrimination creates substantial barriers to employment, housing, education, and other pursuits for individuals with arrest and conviction records, and their families. The articles and videos in this section detail some of the challenges faced by those with justice involvement and a variety of approaches to deal with these issues.

image of LSNJ client interview Cane: Breaking Barriers and Breaking the Cycle
“I definitely feel like the system was rigged towards me,” says Cane, who was sentenced to three years in prison at the age of 22. With determination, creativity, and family support, he managed to become a successful business owner and respected member of the community despite the felony on his record. Now, he wants to help others like him.

View Cane's Story