east jersey state prison

East Jersey State Prison

East Jersey State Prison, situated in Rahway, New Jersey, is an eminent correctional facility renowned for its distinctive architecture and historical significance. With its forbidding front gates and iconic large dome, the prison has served as a captivating backdrop in numerous films and shows. Originally known as Rahway State Prison, it underwent an official name change in 1988, becoming East Jersey State Prison in response to the request of township residents.

Rehabilitation and Educational Opportunities

East Jersey State Prison accommodates around 1,500 adult male offenders across minimum, medium, and maximum security levels. This correctional facility strives to provide comprehensive rehabilitation programs and educational opportunities to inmates, aiming to equip them with valuable skills and knowledge for a successful future.

Incarcerated individuals at East Jersey State Prison can engage in vocational courses that cover diverse fields, including automotive repair, auto body repair, horticulture, culinary arts, and painting. These vocational programs enable inmates to acquire practical skills, enhancing their employability upon release.

Furthermore, the prison offers educational initiatives such as adult basic education, GED preparation, and even college courses facilitated by Union County College. By fostering academic growth and intellectual development, East Jersey State Prison empowers inmates to transform their lives positively.

The Impact of “Scared Straight!”

East Jersey State Prison gained further recognition as the original location for the groundbreaking “Scared Straight!” program. This program aimed to deter young juvenile delinquents by exposing them to the harsh realities of prison life. Inmates, serving life sentences, employed a confrontational approach to instill fear and encourage troubled youths to make transformative choices.

See also  Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility

The influence of the “Scared Straight!” program extends far beyond the confines of East Jersey State Prison, with similar initiatives being implemented across the United States. By confronting at-risk individuals with the consequences of criminal behavior, these programs strive to steer them away from the path of delinquency.

Visiting Hours and Contact Information

For families and loved ones who wish to visit inmates at East Jersey State Prison, it is essential to be familiar with the visiting hours and protocols. The prison offers both contact and non-contact visits, providing various options to accommodate different visitor preferences.

Visiting Hours at the Main Facility:

Contact visits take place on Saturdays and Sundays, divided into two sessions. The first session runs from 9 am to 11 am, with registration available between 7:45 am and 9 am. The second session occurs from 1 pm to 3 pm, and registration for this session is between 11:45 am and 1 pm.

Non-contact visits, conducted behind a window, are available on Saturdays and Sundays as well, also divided into two sessions. The first session operates from 9 am to 11 am, while the second session takes place from 1 pm to 3 pm. Each window visit lasts for one hour, offering an opportunity for communication between inmates and visitors.

Rahway Camp Visiting Hours:

Rahway Camp, a section of East Jersey State Prison, facilitates visiting hours on Thursdays from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, with registration between 5:15 pm and 6:30 pm. Additionally, visiting hours are available on Saturdays and Sundays, consisting of two sessions. The first session is scheduled from 8:30 am to 11 am, with registration open from 8 am to 9:30 am. The second session runs from 12:30 pm to 3 pm, and registration for this session is between 12 pm and 1:30 pm.

Contact Information

For individuals seeking to get in touch with East Jersey State Prison, the following contact details are provided:

Physical Address: East Jersey State Prison 1100 Woodbridge Road Rahway, NJ 07065

See also  Burlington County Prison

Telephone: (732)-499-5010

Inmate Mailing Address: Inmate Name, ID Number East Jersey State Prison Lock Bag R Rahway, NJ 07065

By combining a rich history, dedication to inmate rehabilitation, and the provision of valuable educational opportunities, East Jersey State Prison remains an important correctional institution in New Jersey. Through its commitment to facilitating positive change, the prison endeavors to reintegrate offenders into society as productive and law-abiding citizens.


The physical structure of East Jersey State Prison is imposing and designed to deter would-be escapees. With a capacity of over 2,000 inmates, it is one of the largest prisons in the state. The prison is surrounded by multiple layers of security, including high walls, razor wire, and armed guards. Inmates are also subject to regular headcounts and room searches.

Despite its harsh reputation, East Jersey State Prison does offer some amenities to its inmates. There are recreational areas, educational programs, and job training opportunities. Inmates can also participate in religious services and receive medical care.


The population of East Jersey State Prison is diverse and represents a cross-section of society. The majority of inmates are male and range in age from their 20s to their 60s. The types of crimes committed by inmates at East Jersey State Prison include murder, assault, robbery, and drug offenses.

In an effort to reform and rehabilitate its inmates, East Jersey State Prison offers a variety of programs and services. There are educational programs to help inmates earn their GED or take college courses. Job training opportunities are also available, as well as substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling.


Despite the efforts of prison staff and administrators, East Jersey State Prison has been the subject of numerous controversies over the years. Some inmates have complained about the conditions of their confinement, including the quality of food and the lack of medical care. There have also been instances of staff misconduct, including the use of excessive force and the abuse of inmates.

Gang activity is also a major concern at East Jersey State Prison. Gangs often exert a significant amount of control over the prison population, creating a dangerous and unstable environment. Overcrowding is another issue that has plagued the prison, leading to increased tension and the risk of violence.

See also  Garden State Youth Correctional Facility

Reforms and Improvements

In recent years, there have been efforts to address the issues at East Jersey State Prison and improve conditions for inmates and staff alike. One of the key ways this is being accomplished is through the expansion of inmate programs. For example, there are now more opportunities for inmates to participate in job training, substance abuse treatment, and mental health counseling.

Staff training is also a priority, as it is essential to creating a safe and secure environment for both inmates and staff. This includes training on the use of force, as well as regular performance evaluations to ensure that staff are meeting the standards of the prison.

Physical upgrades are also being made to the prison, including improvements to the security system and the addition of new recreational areas for inmates. Additionally, there are now more opportunities for community outreach, such as volunteer programs and partnerships with local organizations.


In conclusion, East Jersey State Prison is a complex and challenging environment, but it is also one that is undergoing significant reforms and improvements. From the expansion of inmate programs to the upgrading of physical facilities, there are many positive changes underway that will benefit everyone involved. The future of East Jersey State Prison is bright, and it will continue to play an important role in the criminal justice system of New Jersey.


  1. What is East Jersey State Prison? East Jersey State Prison is a maximum-security prison located in Rahway, New Jersey.
  2. Where is it located? East Jersey State Prison is located in Rahway, New Jersey.
  3. How long has it been in operation? East Jersey State Prison has been in operation since 1848.
  4. What types of crimes are committed by inmates? The types of crimes committed by inmates at East Jersey State Prison include murder, assault, robbery, and drug offenses.
  5. What efforts are being made to improve conditions? Efforts to improve conditions at East Jersey State Prison include the expansion of inmate programs, staff training, physical upgrades, and community outreach.

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