NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO REPORT ON ECPO PROSECUTION OF ABUSERS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES: National Public Radio is running a series of reports regarding the abuse of individuals with disabilities, and a recent report featured Acting Prosecutor Laurino and the ECPO Special Victims Unit. This report was heard on the NPR “All Things Considered” show, and a written version of it is now available on the NPR web site. The report highlights the ongoing prosecutorial efforts that ECPO is making in the area of victimization of individuals with disabilities. Acting Prosecutor Laurino extends his congratulations to the Special Victims Unit, and in particular to SVU DCAP Celeste Montesino, AP Kate Lyons-Boswick (who is featured in the NPR report and the web site article along with Prosecutor Laurino), and Captain Steve Roberts for the exceptional work that they continue to do.
2018 SUMMER INTERN PROGRAM: The ECPO Community Justice Unit plans to offer a five-week summer internship program beginning July 5, 2018 through August 3, 2018 for high school students completing their junior year by June 2018. Thirty students who reside in Essex County will be chosen for the 2018 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 9, 2018 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.
NOVEMBER 30, 2017 — A COMMUNITY CONVERSATION ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: On January 1, 2017, the New Jersey Bail Reform/Speedy Trial law went into effect. As a result, New Jersey shifted from a system that relied primarily on setting monetary bail to a more objective risk-based system that is fairer towards those accused of crimes who, prior to this mandate, may not have been able to meet their bail obligation. This new law represents one of the most comprehensive changes to our criminal justice system in many years.
Therefore, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office sponsored a free public forum on Criminal Justice Reform on November 30, 2017 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, at the LEROY SMITH PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING, 60 Nelson Place, 14th Floor Newark NJ. This forum was also supported by the Newark Safety Council. Representatives from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Public Defender’s Office (invited), Essex County Police Chief’s Association, and Essex County vicinage staff were on hand to discuss the scope and nature of criminal justice reform and its impact on the community.
Further public presentations on this topic may be offered in the future. An information flyer on this forum is available at this link.
2017 SANCTUARY INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE RESPONSE INITIATIVE: The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Office has presented another round of its 2017 Sanctuary Initiative volunteer training to interested and qualified volunteers. This training is presented in two formats: BASIC and ADVANCED. The basic course (54 hours) began on October 24, 2017 and met at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office located at 50 West Market Street, 3rd Floor in Newark (at the Essex County Veterans Courthouse Building). The advanced course (16 hours) will begin in the Spring, 2018 on a date and time yet to be determined. Please note that you must complete the basic course or have completed no less than 40 hours of intimate partner violence training to attend the advanced course.
Sanctuary is an intensive, interactive 70 hour training program designed to provide crisis intervention services to intimate partner violence related assault, sexual assault, child abuse victims as well as survivors of intimate partner violence-related homicide victims. The course is presented in two formats: basic and advanced. Upon completion of the basic course (54 hours) and the advanced course (16 hours) volunteers who are members of local churches, mosques, synagogues, municipal police departments and their response teams, social service and emergency agencies, fraternal organizations, and other allied organizations located in greater Essex County will be able to provide immediate, culturally sensitive outreach to intimate partner violence victims-survivors and their families within a 24-72 hour period.
Both Courses Are Offered Free of Charge. Again, we expect that the Advanced Sanctuary classes will be offered in the Spring of 2018; also, there may be another presentation of the Basic class later in 2018. For more information, please call 973-621-4689 or contact us by e-mail at EssexVW@njecpo.org.
ESSEX COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE HOSTS AUTUMN 2017 CITIZENS & CLERGY ACADEMY: Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino has announced that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has completed its Autumn 2017 Citizens and Clergy Academy, a six-week training program for members of the Essex County community. The Citizens and Clergy Academy is a training program designed to familiarize clergy and other members of the Essex community with the day-to-day operations of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Classes were held on Thursday evenings, from October 12 through November 16, 2017. The classes begin at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. Graduation was held on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017.
“The goal of this training program, which is held two times a year, is to help members of the community better understand the work of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office”, said Acting Prosecutor Laurino. “During the classes we explain what we do here. We explain the services available to witnesses and victims. We walk participants through the legal process and generally help members of the clergy and other participants understand the role of the county prosecutor’s office.”
The Citizens Clergy Academy Classes are open to anyone 18 years old or older from Essex County. They are held at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, which is located at 50 West Market Street, 3rd Floor, Newark, NJ. A certificate will be awarded to each participant who successfully completes the course at the graduation ceremony. We expect that another Citizens and Clergy Academy will be held in the Spring of 2018.
Anyone with questions should contact Ms. Kimberly Jones at 973-621-1315
V.I.N.E. Victim Notification Telephone Service Started: The State of New Jersey provides a toll-free telephone number through which victims can gain information about the current status and location of their offenders: 1-877-VINE-4-NJ (1-877-846-3465). Registration is necessary. Please consult the V.I.N.E. Web Site for more information.
VICTIM – WITNESS WEB PAGES REVISED: Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has implemented an updated and expanded website focusing on the needs of crime victims. This site provides updated resource information for Essex County victims and witnesses, and presents it in an understandable, easy to read format based on color coding.
“Serving the needs of crime victims in this high-tech, fast-moving environment is a challenge. Sometimes victims need answers after regular work hours. The expanded ECPO Victim-Witness Services website provides new forums to help victims and their surviving family members. It allows them to get answers when they cannot pick up a phone and reach someone, ’’ said Acting Prosecutor Murray.
The Office’s new Victim Witness web site is accessible from this site (the main ECPO web site) by clicking on the “Victim-Witness Services” link in the blue area at left. The new Victim Witness site is also available via its own internet domain name, i.e. www.essexnjvictimwitness.org
2015 ANNUAL REPORT AVAILABLE: The 2015 ECPO Annual Report can be downloaded and viewed in PDF format, from this page. The 2016 Report is expected in the second half of 2017.
Employees Honored: In 2017, Assistant Prosecutor Judith DeRosa and Legal Assistant Narvin Singh received the Essex County Teamwork Award from Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. Other ECPO employees who received this Award are: In May, 2016, Keyboarding Clerk Vamona DeLoatch; in 2015, Detective Sergeant Robert Parsons, Assistant Prosecutor Magdalen Czykier, Assistant Prosecutor Director Romesh Sukhdeo, Receptionist Inell Shorts; in 2014, Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen Ternovay and Detective Sergeant Michael Davidson , Record Room Supervisor Martine Cosby; in 2013, Homicide Unit Deputy Chief Michael DeMaio, Steno Clerk Lisa Pedalino, Assistant Prosecutor Sara Friedman and Detective Lieutenant John Cunha; in 2012, Clerk Typist Marilyn Crespo, SANE-SART Program Coordinator Alecia Seery and Supervisory Clerk Debora Roachford; in 2011, Legal Assistant Robert Monaco; Victim Witness Advocate Jason Delpeche; Photo Media Processor Lloyd Holmes; Prosecutor’s Agent James Hunter; in 2010, Media Technology Specialist Brian Innis Assistant Prosecutor Kenneth Ply and Senior Program Analyst James Gerofsky; in 2009, Joanne Barone, Principal Account Clerk; Glenda Renee Haislah, Principal Legal Stenographer; Guy Trogani, Investigator; Gwen Williams, Assistant Prosecutor / Director; and Juliet Wood-Warren, Senior Clerk Typist. In 2008, the recipients included: Holt Walker, Detective, in December; La Quanda Williams, Victim Witness Advocate, in October; Budget Analyst Raj Krishnan, in August; and Supervisory Legal Stenographer Marjorie Sherman in May. Senior Clerk Vanessa Harper-Woods received this award in September, 2007; Joan Washington of the Grand Jury Unit in August, 2007; Doris Stoeckel of the Arson Unit, in May 2007; Detective Arnold Anderson, in November, 2006; Secretarial Assistant Rosemary Facchino, in August, 2006; Principal Clerk Halimah Harris, in June, 2006; Automation Specialist Lorraine DeGardnuer, in May, 2006; Victim-Witness Counselor Lisa Fonseca, in April, 2006; and Automation Specialist Cindy Hamilton, in February, 2006.
On February 17, 2016, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo presented Acting Chief of Investigators Quovella M. Spruill with the 2016 Coretta Scott King Leadership Award.
In 2016, the following New Jersey Attorneys were sworn to the position of Assistant Prosecutor for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office: Romil Amin, Kara Basufort, Micheal Burke, Donovan Cho, Chelsea Coleman, Donato D’Angelo, Sean Dickson, Opeyemi Faloyin, Anthony Higgins, Patrick Keating, Lawrence Krayn, Anthony Puglisi, Biran Riehl, Kayla Rowe, Tiffany Russo, Logan Teisch, Ashley White, Peter Wojciak, and Yoana Yakova.
On March 31, 2015, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo presented Assistant Prosecutor Myrna Perez-Drace with the 2015 Althea Gibson Leadership Award.
In 2015, the following New Jersey Attorneys were sworn to the position of Assistant Prosecutor for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office: Rosanne Breakenridge, Sam Hanna, Sarah Turk, Timothy Brown, Emily Bisnauth, Edward Bilinkas, Alaina Caliendo, Felecia Garnes, and Jennifer Sullivan.
ILEI SYSTEM IN SERVICE: The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is a key participant and beneficiary of the County of Essex Integrated Law Enforcement Initiative. This is a data-sharing project which was planned and implemented by the County of Essex, the Essex Department of Corrections, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, the Newark Police Department, and ECPO. Police arrest and incident reports are exchanged digitally and instantaneously through this database network, and a variety of other data coordination and exchange uses are being implemented between the various members of ILEI. Using funding provided in 2008 by the State of New Jersey P.A.R.I.S. Shared Services Program, this system was instituted and went live by early 2009. A second round of funding from N.J. P.A.R.I.S. will allow the expansion of this system to the 21 other municipal police departments in Essex County; this expansion was substantially complete by late 2014. This system will reduce paperwork costs and increase the overall effectiveness of the criminal justice system in Essex County. It also provides a platform for greater criminal data exchanges on both the state and federal level; in the coming years, it will provide a wide range of benefits to ECPO’s pre-Grand Jury units, and also to its investigatory squads.