The Impact of Opioids on Economy, Workforce & Productivity

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the New Jersey Reentry Conference at Saint Peter’s University, to discuss overcoming the stigma of a criminal past, reducing recidivism and how opioid addiction impacts a state's economy, workforce and productivity.

Guests Include:

Jim McGreevey, Former Governor of New Jersey & Chairman, New Jersey Reentry Corporation

Sheila Oliver, Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey

Michael K. Williams, Actor & Founder, Making Kids Win and Dominic Dupont, Program Director, Making Kids Win

Tammy Snyder Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey

7/25/19 #2233






"Hi, I'm Steve Adubato. We're at Saint Peter's University in Jersey City. This is the Annual Reentry Conference. In fact, it is called The Road to Salvation: From Addiction to Employment. The New Jersey Reentry Corporation is holding this conference. Governor Jim McGreevey, who's the chair of that New Jersey Reentry Corporation, is with us. The First Lady is with us. The Lieutenant Governor... I'll just be interviewing her in a few minutes. Legislators, folks from across the country, dealing with the whole question of how those who have been incarcerated, and have gotten out, how they reenter society and find gainful employment. And also the question of addiction. Complicated stuff. Important stuff. And that's what this half hour is about. You don't want to miss it. We're here with Governor Jim McGreevey, who is the chair of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation. Jim, we've talked about these issues many many times, usually in the studio. This conference. What's it about? And why is it so important? Steve, it's focusing on the reality of addiction. About 75% of our clients are addicted or active in their addiction. And obviously, because of heroin and the fentanyl crisis, it has taken on a new emergent concern. I mean, we have 3,200 young people, largely young men died last year in the state of New Jersey. New Jersey was one of five in the fast... in the nation, five states in the nation that had the most substantial increase in overdose deaths. So we're looking at best practices in terms of medication assisted treatment, whether it's Suboxone or Vivitrol or what we could do to... particularly as people come out of treatment, as they come out of jail, as they come out of prison, how to sustain them for the long-term, for one year, two years, and three years and then ultimately it's about employment, and the wraparound services. But before we get people into employment, they have to be stabilized. They have to make sure that, whether it's their depression, their anxiety, their addiction, their housing, that they're all addressed. So old-school would be, get them a job, and God bless, and good luck. Now, we understand the importance of stabilizing them, both mentally physically and also in terms of their... in terms of their addiction. It's called the New Jersey Reentry Corporation. But in many ways, this is a societal issue. National, societal. What's going on in New Jersey? Is it a model? The model? Well I think... you know, I'm proud of the fact that we've got great support from the United States Department of Justice, and also, in terms of the state of New Jersey, that a lot of hard work..."