Richard Rivera Receives Justice Fellowship for LLANJ Civil Rights Protection Project


Richard Rivera Receives Justice Fellowship for LLANJ  Civil Rights Protection Project





 MARTÍN PÉREZ – 732-397-8700

 RICHARD RIVERA – 201-600-1769


Richard Rivera was honored today as a Soros Justice Fellow for his work as Director of LLANJ’s Civil Rights Protection Project, which uses data collected through citizen complaints and police use-of-force reports to change the state’s internal affairs system into a national model of transparency fairness and effectiveness.

“I am thankful to the Open Society Foundation for this generous award, it is a great honor to be named a Soros Justice Fellow and I find myself in excellent company with this year’s recipients” Richard Rivera said "I am proud to be the first police officer chosen for this prestigious program. I look forward to continuing my advocacy in police accountability."

“We are very proud Richard has been recognized as a Soros Justice Fellow”, said LLANJ President Martín Pérez “it is well-deserved acknowledgement of Mr. Rivera’s years of hard work, and an affirmation of the value, quality and necessity of the Civil Rights Protection Project under his leadership.”

The Civil Rights Protection Project was formed by the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey to address community needs relating to police. A committee of attorneys, law enforcement personnel and community advocates was formed to develop a strategy for educating LLANJ members, community leaders and the Latino population throughout the state in positive interactions with police officers. Members are trained in the proper channels for communicating with police and elected officials, enabling them to reach an understanding which will promote future positive interactions with the police. Should the desired outcomes fall short on the part of these officials, CRPP is prepared to litigate on behalf of affected persons and communities.

2011’s Soros Justice Fellows are 18 outstanding advocates, journalists, lawyers, grassroots organizers and filmmakers from 14 states and Washington D.C. They will share a $1.6 million award in recognition and support of their efforts to reform a decaying criminal justice system. Recipients will receive between $74,000 and $108,750 for a project lasting a year to 18 months.

The Justice Fellows program is a part of Open Society Foundations. Begun by George Soros, these foundations seek to “reduce the destructive impact of current criminal justice policies on the lives of individuals, families, and communities in the United States by challenging the overreliance on incarceration and harsh punishment, and ensuring a fair and equitable system of justice”.