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Howard Beyer
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Howard Beyer

Howard L. Beyer, 61, of Highland Park died Dec. 12, 2014. He was born in Passaic. 

Howard received his bachelor of science in criminal justice from The College of New Jersey and his master of public administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Mr. Beyer’s career serving the State of New Jersey with the Department of Corrections and the Juvenile Justice Commission spanned 32 years. It began at East Jersey State Prison in 1975 when he became the work release coordinator. He went on to promotions as senior classification officer and director of professional services there, until his move to NJ State Prison in 1981 as the assistant superintendent. He was promoted to the administrator (warden) position of the prison from 1984 to 1993 before moving to the Division of Operations for the Dept. of Corrections, becoming the deputy director and then the assistant commissioner from 1994 to 1999. In 1999, he began his work with juveniles at the Juvenile Justice Commission, beginning as the deputy executive director in 1999 and being appointed by Gov. James McGreevey as the executive director from 2002 to 2007, when he retired from state service.

He was responsible for the success of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative in New Jersey, which instituted juvenile detention reform by limiting the use of detention and providing safe and compassionate conditions for those who must be confined. He ended his career at Sunspire Health, a drug and alcohol rehab company, as director of special projects. 

Among his awards and recognitions were the Award for Correctional Leadership, College of NJ Law & Justice Alumni Award, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators Outstanding Administrator Award, and establishment of the Howard L. Beyer Scholarship Award by the Association of County Youth Services Commissions.

He served on the boards of Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva in Edison and Moshe Aaron Yeshiva High School in South River, was a member of the Security Board of Congregation Ohav Emeth in Highland Park, and was men’s club president of Congregation Ahavas Achim in Highland Park. MAYHS honored him and his wife Yvonne as Parents of the Year.

A Boy Scout Cub master, he was coach of his sons’ and daughter’s teams, including basketball, softball and baseball, and started and coached an intramural basketball team. 

He is survived by his wife; two sons, Samuel and Jeremy; his daughter, Rachel; a sister, Adrienne Cohen of Indian Land, SC; and a brother, Bruce Beyer of Nashville, Tenn. 

Services were held Dec. 14 at Congregation Ohav Emeth.

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