Click to listen to Prison Nation Radio
Michael B. Jackson
Michael B. Jackson
Host & Producer

“These were the most exciting and encouraging political event in the NJ urban communities, since Barack Obama. Never before have public officials come into the inner city community to listen to the thoughts of the real people, let alone move so rapidly to use the information they received from the people for action. These series of history making Town Hall meetings have resulted in legislation being introduced that will bring unprecedented positive reform to the NJ Criminal Justice System.” I am a proud member of the planning committee for the Counting the Costs Hearings. convened by NJ Assembly Majority Speaker Bonnie Watson Coleman.” I attended and recorded all of the hearings and I heard and felt the passion, desperation, and frustration expressed by the people whose lives have been negatively impacted by the criminal justice system - many involved by no fault of their own. I also heard and felt their hopes that this time something might get done. I created a webpage where anyone can listen to the Counting the Costs tapes on my website, because of their historic significance and importance. I also felt that all of the people who came out to speak should know that their words did not die at the conclusion of the hearings. There was over 50 hours of testimony I recoreded. Except for the long pauses and dead time that I cut out, it’s all there. I am very grateful to Majority Leader Watson-Coleman, as well as the other panelists, specifically Assemblyman Albert Coutinho and Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, who also attended and sat through every minute of testimony that sometimes ran beyond 9 PM in the evening.”

Families & Incarceration
First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset, NJ Time - 5:14:24
Nov. 21, 2008
A Second Look at Sentencing
Shiloh Baptist Church, Trenton, NJ Time - 5:14:03
Dec. 8, 2008
Education, Training and Treatment
Part 1 Part 2 Time - 5:10:35
Rutgers University Paul Robeson Center in Newark, NJ
Dec. 11, 2008
Modeling Justice: Examining Prison Conditions
Eastside High School. Paterson Time - 4:07:23
Jan. 14, 2009
Incarceration and the Impact on Women
Part 1 Part 2
Second Baptist, Atlantic City
Jan. 23, 2008
Reintegration/Reentry Rights
Part 1 Part 2
Camden, Rutgers University
Feb. 17, 2008
Best Practices Testimony
NJ State House, Trenton
May 6, 2009
Hearing Excepts
Assembly Majority Speaker Bonnie Watson Coleman addresses the congregation at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens on Sunday, 11/16/08. (6:32)
Rick Greenberg, Director of Second Chance Campaign of NJ and NJISJ on Prison Phone Surcharges. (8:12)
Arc Angel, Almighty Latin Kings and Queens and Latins for Justice on the effects of NJDOC "STG" or (Security Threat Group), Gang Management Unit. (7:52)
Gail Muhammad, Woman Who Never Give Up, on family effects. (6:48)
Pat Clark, American Friends Service Committee on Housing Issues. (4:10)

Ester Neils, Essex County Juvenile Detention Center Volunteer on Self Esteem and Volunteerism. (12:02)

Professor Norma Bowe, Kean University, reads a letter from incarcerated men. (16:27)
Mayor Corey Booker
Senator Ron Rice
Miata Stella Herring of Pan African Organization
Arthur Echols on Mental health or Post-Prison Trauma Issues
Diana Espino on DOC treatment of visiting handicapped family members
Bonnie Kerness, AFS, on prison conditions
Taurean Walker on suburbanites teaching projects folks
Gloria Carver's son died at Northern State Prison
PNR Blog
Brick City FX
MBJ Nation (YouTube)
Buy Books
About MBJ
Contact PNR
Prison Nation Radio
Leave a Comment


Counting the Costs of Incarceration

(TRENTON) – Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman has hosted a series of hearings across New Jersey to improve services and opportunities to help those released from prison avoid returning to crime. Watson Coleman said the hearings will be a ground-breaking effort to hear from experts and residents on how the state can overhaul programs to prevent recidivism and save taxpayer money. “Former prisoners and their families lack a voice in our system despite dire need for rehabilitation services for the more than 18,000 people who are released from prison each year,” said Watson Coleman. “New Jersey spends up to $40,000 per inmate – two times more than what we spend on educating our children. Yet, nearly none of this money has found its way into rehabilitation programs to support a better future for ex-prisoners and their families.” Watson Coleman said inmates are often released from prison into communities with limited jobs, housing and social services. The Majority Leader said the hearings will build consensus, understanding and support for more effective policies. “From a fiscal and a social perspective, it makes more sense to focus on keeping people out of jail,” Watson Coleman said. “It’s time that we create a pathway for people who have served time to finally become contributing members of society. It’s hypocrisy that we are punishing people for the same crime twice through a system that prohibits better opportunities.”

Michael B. jackson 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
click here for Written Hearing Transcripts