Description & History

First Friends of NJ and NY promotes compassion and hope through volunteer visitation, resettlement assistance and advocacy. We offer the following volunteer opportunites: 


We make personal contact with detainees to assure them that their dignity is respected and to facilitate a channel for contacting those outside of the detention system. Visit immigrant detainees at the Elizabeth Detention Center (EDC), the Hudson County Correctional Center (HCCC), the Bergen County Jail (BCJ) and at Essex County Correctional Center-Delaney Hall (DH). Training and access for visiting are provided by First Friends. Hundreds of detainees are requesting visits because they have no one, be a first friend to one of them today! Urgent need for Spanish speakers.


We need volunteers who can write to detainees regularly. This is a great opportunity for those who are house-bound or who are not able to visit the detention centers.


Stamp Out Despair is our semi-annual collection of writing materials for detainees– paper, envelopes, stamps, and when funds permit, phone cards– so they can keep in touch with family members. We need donations, as well as help to pack folders of materials. 

About the organization

First Friends of New Jersey and New York

Stephanie Lopez
Volunteer Coordinator
Organization’s website: