The Credible Messengers Program

In August 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services launched the nationally recognized Credible Messenger Initiative in Hudson County. The Credible Messenger Program engages youth involved in the juvenile justice system in a transformative process through which individuals from similar backgrounds, especially men and women, who were themselves justice-involved, engage youth in structured and intentional relationships that help them change their attitudes, beliefs and actions. These credible messengers function as transformative mentors, life coaches, and advocates for fairness and equity in the administration of justice. In addition to intensive mentoring and family programming, these individuals link youth and families to related services and connect them to the other community resources.

Through a competitive contracting process, Guazabara Insights, LLC was selected to implement the program. The County is also working with consultant Clinton Lacey of CM3 (The Credible Messenger Mentoring Movement) who has successfully led planning and implementation of the program in New York City, Washington DC and other jurisdictions throughout the Country. Mr. Lacey will assist with planning and training in Hudson County. Please contact Samantha Moore at for more information.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Hudson County 4-H

Hudson County 4-H works to develop youth and family programs under the guidance of Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the Division of Children and Youth Services in Hudson County. The Department of 4-H Youth Development at Rutgers University provides educational outreach programming for youth in grades K-13 (one year out of high school) through 4-H clubs, special interest programs, school enrichment, and much more. 4-H uses a learn-by-doing approach to help youth learn responsibility, community awareness, and character development. For more information about Hudson County 4-H, please visit or contact 4-H Program Associate Claudia Urdanivia at or at 201-395-4789.

STOP School Violence and Mental Health Training Program

In fall 2018, The United States Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded Hudson County Department of Health and Human Services a grant of $500,000 for the implementation of the Hudson County Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence and Mental Health Training Program in partnership with Rutgers University’s Evidence Based Social.

Decision Making Program under the direction of Erin Bruno.

The Hudson County STOP School Violence and Mental Health Training Program helps all schools within Hudson County to reduce and prevent school violence, improve student social and emotional well-being and create safe, trauma-informed learning environments. Since its inception, Hudson County’s STOP School Violence and Mental Health Training Program has assisted thousands of students, teachers, administrators and families through trainings, technical assistance and programming. For more information contact Janine Verdi at

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