Veterans Courthouse
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Newark, NJ 07102
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Community Justice Programs

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office takes a proactive approach to crime prevention. In doing so, we have created the Community Justice Unit. This Unit is dedicated to creating and putting forth programs aimed to provide children and adolescents with positive alternatives and interventional strategies aimed at preventing delinquency. The Community Justice Unit engages the entire Essex County community by serving as a liaison between law enforcement and residents. The Unit promotes awareness about the role and functions of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Children & Adolescent Programs

The Community Justice Unit sponsors youth symposiums that address critical issues pertinent to young people; thus working to reduce risk factors of delinquency. Nearly five hundred middle and high school students from Essex County attend the full day conferences, which feature interactive workshops on making positive choices, the dangers of drugs and gangs along with ways to be safe while surfing the “Net”. Elementary school students learn about various careers in law, government and medicine through the Community Justice Unit’s “Project I C.A.N.” (I Can Achieve Now) program. Also, since 2000, the Community Justice Unit has conducted a unique five week Summer Intern Program to introduce rising high school seniors to various careers in law, law enforcement and local government. Please see below regarding the 2017 program.


The ECPO Community Justice Unit plans to offer a five-week summer internship program beginning July 5, 2017 through August 4, 2017 for high school students completing their junior year by June 2017. Thirty students who reside in Belleville, Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Montclair, Newark, Orange, South Orange / Maplewood, and West Orange will be chosen for the 2017 program. Program activities include learning about the role and function of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office; participating in New Jersey State Trooper Youth Week, a one week residential program; observing a jury trial and participating in a mock trial; working with a local law enforcement agency; and interfacing with the corporate and the community-based partners on the ECPO Community Justice Advisory Board. Throughout the summer internship program, interns will be exposed to various careers in law, law enforcement and government. Interns will also participate in cultural events.

Application Instructions and an Application Form can be viewed and downloaded using these links. Completed application packets MUST BE SENT BY MAIL and are due no later than March 10, 2017 to Nicole Graves Watson, Community Justice Coordinator, Office of the Essex County Prosecutor, 50 West Market Street, Third Floor, Newark, New Jersey 07102. Recommendation letters should be included with your application. The application form and recommendation letters must be signed, and thus CANNOT be sent by fax or e-mail. Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you require additional information please feel free to contact Mrs. Watson at (973) 621-4317.

Community Visibility

The Community Justice Unit wants to hear the issues that plague residents of Essex County. Armed with the assistance of local law enforcement agencies and non profit groups, the Unit addresses the needs of Essex County residents. Representatives from the Unit attend block association meetings and community forums to address issues of crime. The Unit partners with community members throughout Essex County in an effort to shed light on the positive side of law enforcement.

Speaker’s Bureau

Members from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office provide workshops on a range of topics for schools and local organizations. Workshops on bullying, child abuse, domestic violence, gang awareness, Internet safety, juvenile justice, victimization and an overview of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office are provided by experts in their field.

2015 Community Justice Unit Highlights

The Community Justice Unit provided workshops to nearly 3,000 Essex County residents in 2015!

Workshop topics included:

  • Bullying
  • Careers in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Expungements
  • Gang Awareness
  • Human Trafficking
  • Internet Safety
  • Overview of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office

ECPO representatives participated in a variety community meetings upon invitation, to address residents concerns.

2015 was also the 14th consecutive year in which ECPO held a 5-week summer internship program to expose high school students to careers in law, law enforcement and government. Twenty five high school juniors from Essex County participated in this unique program where they toured local and federal law enforcement agencies, participated in a mock trial, learned about local and state government, attended Trooper Youth Week with the New Jersey State Police and participated in cultural trips.

Other Community Justice highlights from 2015 include:

  • Held a full day “Boys To Men” conference to address the concerns of young males in Essex County. Over 250 high school males attended the event, held at the Essex County Police Academy on March 6.
  • On November 17, the Unit sponsored a substance abuse informational session for Essex County Clergy. ECPO partnered with ADAPT (Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Team of Essex County) and Essex County’s Department of Health Services to provide a half day information session on substance abuse resources to clergy members. David Kerr, Founder of Integrity House, one of the longest running and most successful treatment substance abuse treatment centers, served as the keynote speaker.
  • Provided a Career Day experience entitled: Project I Can Achieve Now! (I.C.A.N.) to over 50 elementary school students on October 20th.
  • Held a youth conference entitled: “What’s it All About?”, World Against Violence (W.A.V.) to address issues affecting middle school students. Over 400 middle school students from Essex County attended the full day event at Caldwell University on December 22nd. Students participated in workshops on making positive choices, substance abuse prevention, entrepreneurship, etiquette, and Cyber-Safety. Over thirty representatives from various social service and youth agencies provided students with information on educational and recreational resources.

To request additional information on community outreach programs or to request a speaker at your event, feel free to contact Nicole Graves-Watson, Community Justice Coordinator at (973) 621-4317.

Have an Essex County crime tip? Call: 877-TIPS-4-EC (877-847-7432) or e-mail: Disclaimer