When you walk into Parole Office and see Vilmary Lopez, sitting at the first desk, you notice her smile. Then you can’t miss the law enforcement belt around her waist. The belt contains her Gun, Handcuffs, Baton, and her shiny badge from the State of New Jersey. For 11 years Vilmary Lopez has worn her badge as a Senior Parole officer.
”The best is when I actually see that I made a difference in somebody’s life…” Parole is a privilege. It’s a great opportunity. Parole is life changing for the people that actually want to take opportunities, take advantage of opportunities and change their lives around.” Parole Officer Vilmary Lopez to Journalist Dominic Carter
Lopez is one of 3 parole officers that works on-site here. Less than a few miles from Newark airport in buildings that look like they belong in an environmental area. It’s called the Kintock group. The State of New Jersey subcontracts to Kintock and other organizations when it comes to paroled men and women. This is a residential environment where the one-time inmates are still locked in.
The National recidivism rate is 67 percent where inmates ultimately return to prison in a 3 year period….a costly endeavor for taxpayers.
New Jersey’s rate comes in less than half at 31%
Look at the statistics of some neighboring states.
New York’s Recidivism Rate 44%, Delaware 70%, New Jersey 31%.