Essex Jail Task Force work is just beginning

Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 12/27/2019

Thank you to the Essex County Freeholders for creating what may be the only voluntary, county-level, jail oversight task force in the country. The ordinance was developed through Freeholder President Brendan Gill’s work with ACLU-NJ and many advocacy groups have been working on this for years. This accomplishment should be celebrated.

However, hard work remains. It is important to make sure that Essex County Executive, Joe DiVincenzo, and his Administration understand that 1. The Task Force must be permanent. 2. Granting oversight will not stop calls to end the ICE contract keeping detainees at the jail.

Citizens must push hard for good representatives to be added to the Task Force so that it can work as intended: ensuring fair and equitable conditions for all prisoners, detainees, and staff. The task force needs: a detainee advocate, inmate advocate, NJ Criminal Defense Bar Member, corrections expert, formerly incarcerated individual, social justice advocate, medical expert, and a member of the public. Consider applying or encouraging others to!

Submit resumes to and request a timeline for a decision.

Essex County residents should contact the Freeholders when the nominees are up for approval, ensuring accountability in the nomination process.

Topics: Brendan GillEssex County, NJJoe DiVincenzoICEJail ReformCriminal Justice ReformCivilian Oversight