Interviewees

Jimenez, Jr., Pedro J.

The Honorable Pedro J. Jimenez, Jr., J.S.C., was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey in 1966. His parents were born in Puerto Rico and migrated when they were young to New Jersey, eventually settling in Perth Amboy. His father, a tool and die maker by trade, became involved in local politics in Perth Amboy. His mother worked as a beautician and ran her own business, before becoming a school security guard. During his childhood, he went to parochial school during grammar school and then to the public high school in Perth Amboy. He visited family members in Puerto Rico during summers. At Rutgers College from 1984 to 1989, he majored in Puerto Rican Studies (now Latino and Caribbean Studies). He played football for one year, lived in Latin Images for three years, and joined the fraternity Chi Phi. Motivated by his father's political involvement and by the underrepresentation of Latinos in local governance and law enforcement, he decided to go to law school, earning his law degree at Northeastern University. After beginning his career as a judicial law clerk in the Superior Court of New Jersey, he became an Assistant Prosecutor in the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office. From 1998 to 2008, he served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice. He has served as a Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, since 2008. In the interview, he discusses the migration stories of his grandparents, demographic changes in Perth Amboy, the treatment of Latinos/as in Perth Amboy during his youth, the development of the Puerto Rican Studies Program at Livingston College, challenges in the legal and judicial professions, notable cases and decisions, and changes in the criminal justice system over the course of his career.