| The Essex County Department of Corrections

Program Division

Division Head, Dr. Roxanne Vega, PsyD


  • Social Services Department
  • Inmate Advocate
  • Re-Entry Rehabilitation Program
  • Substance Abuse Program
  • MAT
  • Religious Services
  • Recreation
  • Culinary Class
  • GED/HSE/ABE/Job Readiness Skills
  • OSHA and Construction
  • Yoga

Social Services Department

The Social Services Department works as advocates for all inmates with the various barriers they may face during their incarceration. Below are some of the services currently provided to all inmates.

  • Notarize documents, property releases, power of attorney form, 5-A forms, and authorization forms.
  • Limited legal services (assist with completion 5A forms, print out law statutes, communicate with legal counsel on inmates’ behalf-request legal calls)
  • Provide envelopes, writing supplies, and certified mail slips for indigent inmates. ***indigent inmates are individuals who have less than $5 in their inmate account.
  • Coordinate Private Funeral Viewing
  • Look up charges, bails, assigned public defenders, private counsel, prosecutors and judges.
  • Discharge Planning (upon request): linking and referring inmates with resources and services prior to release if needed (i.e. shelters, drug treatment programs, food pantry, vocational services, financial services).
  • Assist inmates with obtaining birth certificates, social security cards and Essex County identification cards.
  • Communicate with the inmate families
  • Facilitate psycho-social groups/classes.
  • Provide reading materials to inmates.
  • Foster relationships with community providers such as libraries, book store and education institution to receive gently used soft covered book donations.
  • Provide inmates with voter registration forms and mail-in ballots.
  • Screening for Rehabilitation Programs as Alternative to Incarceration and Advocacy. Work closely with the Court and Probation to facilitate initial screening and evaluation of individuals for possible release or jail diversion to intervention programs
  • Coordinate monthly Tier Reps Meetings with administration and the inmate representatives. Any inmate inquiries or concerns must be directed to appointed Tier Reps prior to the monthly meetings.
  • Review and respond to inmate request and grievances via the tablet.
  • Oversee Ramadan in conjunction with Food Services, Custody & Religious Services.

Inmate/Detainee Advocate

The Inmate/Detainee Advocate serves as a liaison between inmates/detainees and the various departments within the facility. The Inmate/Detainee Advocate, is responsible for assisting inmates/detainees with a variety of issues including:

  • Health/wellness issues-Medical and Mental Health
  • Custody/ Housing issues Hygiene requests
  • Property
  • Inmate Funds/Business Office/Commissary
  • Visitation
  • Grievance Process

Re-Entry Rehabilitation Program


The Essex County Correctional Facility Re-Entry Rehabilitation Program currently serves minimum and medium security level county inmates at the Essex County Correctional Facility. Participation in the program is voluntary.  Initially, participants complete an intake and assessment process with a member of the re-entry case management team. Assessment results are utilized to assist the participant in developing a treatment plan, where they will identify program goals and interventions that can be utilized to reach those goals. Re-Entry program participants are offered a range of group counseling options, including but not limited to Criminal & Addictive Thinking, Relapse Prevention, NA/AA Workshops, Anger Management, Socialization, Employment Skills and Parenting Skills. Additionally, participants meet with assigned case managers on a regular basis to complete and review assignments, explore community resources available to them, update treatment plan goals, and assess program progress.

Substance Abuse Program


The Substance Abuse program is a volunteer and referral based program. The program utilizes alcohol-drug screening and intervention for correctional settings. It consists of intervention programs to help offenders who exhibit elevated risk factors and are using substances, as well as educational and multi-component programs which focus on improving risk and protective factors at home and in the community. Upon completion of each module a participant is awarded a certificate of completion and can then choose to continue their participation in successive modules.



The Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program at the Essex County Correctional Facility is administered by a team of treatment professionals employed by Centers for Family Guidance. Inmates are screened upon intake for opioid substance abuse disorders, and those who meet the criteria are enrolled in the MAT program   Medication, in combination with individual counseling and group therapy, is used to treat substance abuse disorders, sustain recovery, prevent or reduce overdose, and reduce criminal behavior. Participants in the Essex County Correctional Facility’s MAT program are linked to follow-up MAT services in the community and are followed by Centers for Family Guidance for six to nine months post-release to ensure continued success.

Religious Services


The Chaplin or Office of Religious Services at the ECCF seeks to meet the needs that are most important to the population through traditional religious services, discussion and fellowship groups, pastoral care and counseling. They provide programs and worship services which embrace a variety of religious faiths.


Inmates are afforded full and equal opportunity to practice their legitimate religions or refrain from involvement in religion, subject only to the limitation necessary to maintain the safe, secure and orderly operation of the facility.



The Recreation Department provides recreational activities and programs for inmates. This is done through a combination of sporting disciplines, educational and sedentary activities, workout programs, board games, recreation supplies and equipment to develop physical and mental well-being and constructive use of leisure-time. The department has embarked on a renewed mission to accomplish even more and has formulated several new programs which gives inmates real world experiences to tap into after the completion of their time of incarceration. These activities, while serving as a balance and an alternative in minimizing stress and anxiety levels in the facility, also provide an outlet to display artistic skills, portray a variety of talents and exercises the virtues of discipline, commitment, sacrifice and perseverance.

Culinary Class

GD Correctional Services has partnered with Essex County correctional Facility, offering a 12 week culinary course to interested residents at ECCF. The course will starts with a four week ServSafe Food handler class. After the four weeks are completed, all participants will receive their ServSafe Food Handler’s certificate. This certificate is nationally recognized and enables a participant to pursue a culinary career. GD Correctional Services has also partnered with several food vendors that we use for job placement.

The next eight weeks are hands-on. All class participants will learn the following subjects:

  • Basic knife skills
  • Recipe conversion
  • Roasting, braising, deep frying and sautéing
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Entrée plating and garnishing

To conclude the class, the participants have a cook-off competition where their family members are invited to see them in action.

The class will be given numerous ingredients to prepare their special entrée for each judge.

GED/HSE/ABE/Job Readiness Skills


The All The Way Up Adult Education Center provides GED/HSE Test Preparation, Adult Basic Education (ABE), and Job Readiness Skills. They partner with community organizations, granters, and individual donors to directly improve the educational outcomes of their students throughout Essex County.

OSHA and Construction

Provided by Essex County College


106 Hour Core Training in:

  • OSHA 30-Hour Construction Health and Safety
  • OSHA Disaster Site Worker (16 hours)
  • Confined Space Entry (8 Hour)
  • OSHA Supported Scaffolding (4 Hours):
  • First Aid/CPR/AED; (8 Hours)

Yoga Classes


Newark Yoga Movement enhances the educational experience and provides easy access to increased peacefulness, focus and confidence as a complementary source of discipline and structure for all. Newark Yoga Movement meets every participant where they are, bringing them life skills through the practice of yoga, breathing and centering.