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Jamarr’s Promise

Jamarr’s Promise
Jamarr's Promise is the shocking true story of Kristin I. Morris' fight to protect a nine-year-old child, Jamarr Cruz, that ended in his tragic death and New Jersey's Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS)'s denial of its responsibility in the case.
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About the Book

Jamarr’s Promise is the shocking true story of Kristin I. Morris’ fight to protect a nine-year-old child, Jamarr Cruz, that ended in his tragic death and New Jersey’s Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS)’s denial of its responsibility in the case.

As a caseworker for DYFS, Kristin helped many children and families; it was her life’s passion. Nine-year-old Jamarr was living with his grandparents after his mother’s boyfriend, Vincent Williams, beat him repeatedly. Jamarr told Kristin it was not safe for him to return home. Kristin urgently tried to keep Jamarr safe with his grandparents, but was told by superiors that Latino children are kept in the home at all costs. This time, the cost was Jamarr Cruz’s life. In 2009 after Jamaar’s return to Omayra Cruz and Vincent Williams, Vincent beat Jamarr to death. Not only did Kristin’s superiors at the DYFS block her efforts to help Jamarr, but when he was killed, they blamed Kristin for his death.

Jamarr’s Promise is a call to end corrupt loyalties in New Jersey’s DYFS. It is a call to protect children from Jamarr’s fate. It is a call for justice for Kristin Morris, who did the right thing and was punished unjustly for it.

Genre: Memoire
ASIN: 0998379905
ISBN: 9780998379906
"Kristin I. Morris and Joseph J. Zielinski's nonfiction memoir, Jamarr's Promise: A True Story of Corruption, Courage, and Child Welfare, is a stunning indictment of a bureaucratic system that failed to prevent the brutal murder of a child under its care and attempted to pass off the blame on the caseworker who had tried to avert the catastrophe. Morris's story is a compelling and a sad one, particularly as the author had cared so much about that young boy and was helpless in the face of a system that failed the one it was supposed to help. She shares the personal toll of fighting to clear her name, taken on by herself and her family, as she challenged the state which had infinitely more power and resources than she had. In doing so, she highlighted an essential weakness in our justice system, where money and legal resources can tilt the scales of justice unfairly in the favor of the wealthy or more powerful. Morris explains how even the Governor seemed to have an interest in suppressing the truth, and she raises some provocative questions about the retaliation experienced by coauthor, Zielinski, after he apprised Governor Christie, by letter, of Morris's situation. Jamarr's Promise is a sobering read that shines a light on one boy's needless suffering and death, but it also may help protect the many other kids who find themselves in Jamarr's situation. Jamarr's Promise: A True Story of Corruption, Courage, and Child Welfare is most highly recommended."
– -- Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
"Jamarr's Promise is a heart-wrenching true story. It is more than just a memoir; it is a story of death, sorrow, and government conspiracy. Kristin I. Morris and Dr. Joseph J. Zielinski share the tragic story of Jamarr Cruz. Jamarr was a bright young boy whose life ended horrifically; he was beaten to death. He was an innocent child caught up in the system. Jamarr was one of many case files for the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency to process. But for Kristin Morris, his case worker, he was more than a case; he was a child in danger and she promised to protect him. Kristin knew when she chose this career that she would see the 'worst of the worst.' But no amount of preparation, training or education prepared her for what she would experience working for the DCPP of New Jersey...Both authors were impacted by Jamarr's death and it is revealed in their writing. The facts are told, and the emotions are felt. Kristin I Morris and Dr. Joseph Zielinski were compelled to tell this story. I was reminded as I read, 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing' (Edmund Burke). Disgraced, betrayed, and against all odds, Kristin refuses to sit back and do nothing; she seeks justice. The guilty parties in this bureaucracy need to be exposed, tried in court and punished."
– --Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
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About the Author
Kristin Morris and Joseph Zielinksi, PhD

Kristin I. Morris is an activist who volunteers her time with organizations for women, children and families, including Toys for Tots, She’s Got a Name, and Urban Promise. She
has been with her husband Benny since she was nineteen and they have four very active children. She always wanted to help people, by working with the church teaching CCD, pro-life club, soup kitchen, and through charity work. Kristin earned her bachelor’s in Psychology from Rowan University. After school, she began to work as a social worker for the State of New Jersey’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency, formerly Division of Youth and Family Services. As part of the child welfare system, she found herself watching over New Jersey’s most vulnerable citizens: abused children. Her dream is to open and run a foster care organization as a safety net for abused children, and to eliminate the politics and hidden agendas of larger organizations.

Joseph J. Zielinksi, PhD is a New Jersey licensed psychologist board certified in both Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology. He completed his undergraduate in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He has been in private practice for forty years as a psychologist, often working concurrently for public schools in special education, in a headache clinic, and in a management consulting firm. He has published in professional journals. He most enjoys working as a practitioner and seeing patients of all backgrounds and experiences.


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