Quote of the Day: “That’s why these people are in Jail”

Somehow I missed this one from the testimony of Department of Corrections Commissioner Gary Lanigan before the Senate Budget Committee last Thursday when asked about gang activity in NJ prisons:

“do we have a gang problem? Yes. Do we have a violence problem? Yes. Do we have a drug problem? Yes. That’s why these people are in jail! Are there gang members in prison? Absolutely yes, but are they in control of the prison? Absolutely not!”

Despite Lanigan’s statements to the contrary, a 2009 report from the State Commission of Investigation came out just a year ago called Gangland behind Bars talking about how and why gangs thrive in NJ prisons. He’s back up testifying on Monday before the Assembly Budget committee, so we’ll see what he has to say about the situation to them, as he’ll probably be asked more questions about this.  

Comments (2)

  1. firstamend07

    The New Commissioner of Corrections has already gotten a reputation as an ” up front guy”. He has a job to do and he is doing it. Many in the Dept. are already applauding this new approach.

    However no one can figure out why he is laying off 67 education employees while at the same time allowing other areas inside the DOC to cutback through attrition.

    The savings for these 67 employees is only $1.2 million. The Corrections Department budget is over a BILLION? The Department is eliminating 283 various posts and positions from Administration,custody,and civilian ranks. BUT ONLY THE 67 EDUCATION PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY GETTING PINK SLIPS.

    Despite ( or because of? ) the Watson-Coleman inmate education bills mandate for INCREASED academic and vocational classes the new Commissioner has still called for this cutback.

    Some think he was given bad advice.

    Others think that this might be the start to a privatization bid ( run it down ,sell it off cheap,make a profit later) to give inmate education to the lowest bidder.

    Others think it might be his way of saying that unfunded mandates ( watson-Coleman bills) do come at a cost.

    Unfortunately 67 employees are caught in the middle.

    It would be nice if some Assemblyperson would ask him about this.  


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