Criminal Justice Reform: Reducing Recidivism, Saving Money


  • John Koufos - Executive Director, Safe Streets and Second Chances; National Director, Re-Entry Initiatives for Right on Crime

John Koufos is the National Director of Reentry Initiatives for Right on Crime and the Executive Director of the Safe Streets and Second Chances initiative. 

John has been widely recognized for his professional advocacy and was previously certified by the Supreme Court of NJ as a criminal trial attorney. He has tried complex jury trials to verdict, and received numerous professional achievement awards and accolades.

In 2014, John built the New Jersey Reentry Corporation to assist Governor Chris Christie’s nationally recognized leadership and innovation in the opioid crisis. After designing the program, John was named Executive Director and worked with the Christie Administration and five former Governors to implement effective evidence-based reentry services. Under John’s leadership NJRC grew from a single-location startup to approximately 60 employees in nine program sites. John designed NJRC’s nationally recognized legal program, combining staff lawyers with approximately 70 pro bono lawyers to help the reentry community clear old tickets and warrants and restore drivers licenses that lead to jobs.

John’s lived experience on all sides of the criminal justice system makes him a credible spokesperson. He is strongly committed to recovery, reentry, and reintegration. His leadership in the business community was recognized in 2016 when NJBIZ named him one of New Jersey’s “Top 40 Under 40.” He is a regular speaker on criminal justice, healthcare and reentry issues and has taught NJRC’s reentry model to other cities, states and the federal government.

John holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, as well as a law degree from the Fordham University School of Law. He serves on the Governor Christie’s Opiate Task Force, and as NJRC liaison to the NJ State Bar Association.


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