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New Jersey


Youth Justice New Jersey

60 Park Place, Suite 511
Newark, New Jersey 07102

Office: 973-558-0223

Retha Onitiri, PMP
Email: ronitiri@njisj.org

Website: http://www.youthjusticenj.org/
Facebook: facebook.com/njisj
Twitter: @nj_isj
Organizational Description:

The New Jersey Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition is a large and growing consortium of research, advocacy and direct service organizations committed to: (1) reducing the number youth who come in contact with the system and diverting those who do; (2) reducing the incarceration of youth; and (3) improving conditions for youth in the system.  The Coalition was founded in the Spring of 2013 and began its collective work with efforts to eliminate punitive solitary confinement in juvenile facilities and to provide due process protections before transfers from juvenile and adult corrections facilities.  The Coalition has now begun a broader effort to shape juvenile justice-related discourse and policy in furtherance of systemic reform.

Coalition Members:

Advocates for Children of New Jersey
American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey
American Friends Service Committee
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties
Disability Rights New Jersey
Independence: A Family of Services, Inc.
Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies
Justice for Families
Legal Educational Advocacy and Reentry Program (LEARN)
Legal Services of New Jersey
Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest at Lowenstein Sandler
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
New Jersey Office of the Public Defender
New Jersey Parents’ Caucus
New Jersey Youth Caucus
Reentry Coalition of New Jersey
Rutgers Law School-Camden: Children’s Justice Clinic
Rutgers Law School-Newark: Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic
St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church of Somerset
Statewide Parent Advocacy Network
YouthBuild Newark



kathy-wright_juvenile-justice-reformKathy Wright

Executive Director, New Jersey Youth Justice Initiative
New Jersey Parents Caucus

Phone: 908-994-7471  


Areas of Expertise: Juvenile justice reform; mental health; transformative process of collaborating with families: engagement, involvement & partnership; youth coalition-building; training and curriculum development; professional parent advocacy’ and racial and ethnic disparities.

Bio: Kathy Wright’s experience as an advocate, mental health executive, and educator has spanned over two decades. She has been instrumental in providing dedicated and passionate leadership as the executive director of the New Jersey Parents’ Caucus, developing programs and supportive services that empower parents, caregivers and family members raising children with emotional and behavioral challenges in creating systemic change, as well as professionals and providers in the child-serving arenas in the areas of family engagement. She is the developer of NJPC’s Parents’ Empowerment Academy, OJJDP Families Uplifted Prevention Initiative, and the NJ Youth Justice Initiative, and remains dedicated to working with families to improve outcomes for their children, become self-sufficient, overcome the stigma placed on them by society and work with dignity as collaborative partners with professionals. Kathy has also served as adjunct professor at numerous universities throughout New Jersey, and has nine years’ experience as director of marketing for several major corporations. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in the areas of Psychology and English at Drew University.

Locale: New Jersey
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