Back in December over 90,000 people in New Jersey saw an end to their unemployment with the expiration of federal emergency benefits. This was the highest share of any state. Another 89,000 New Jersey residents are also set to lose their benefits during the first six months of 2014 as 63 weeks of unemployment is shrinking to 26 according to a report published by the House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee.
For the Bergen County Jail this means big business.
In Bergen County being unemployed may get you thrown in jail. Bergen County residents who are jobless and have fallen behind on child support or alimony payments face indefinite incarceration in the Bergen County Jail’s “Work Release” program.
Brought before a judge every two weeks unemployed parents incarcerated in the “work release” program are required to report their efforts in finding a job. Being unemployed in Superior Court in Bergen County is considered to be by choice and puts you in contempt of court.If someone is capable of making child support or alimony payments, and refuses, yes, that's contempt of court. But the assumption that anyone who is out of work is choosing to do so seems like a very arguable claim. Essentially, we are bringing back jailing people for debt associated with a civil process. How Dickensian.