CEC: Time for An Independent Investigation

The New York Times this week is publishing a three-part article series with a horrific inside view of NJ’s hafway houses, most of which are operated by Community Education Centers (CEC). There is extensive documentation of drugs, gangs and sexual abuse within the facilities, lack of qualified educators and counselors, inmates just walking out and committing awful crimes, a tangled web of CEC’s donations to politicians, collusion with local officials to receive grants, and concerns raised by State Comptroller Boxer about how CEC account for funds provided by the State.

Governor Christie today issued the following press release:  

“We have increased monitoring of halfway houses with enhanced site visits, fines for noncompliance and a new inspection monitoring system… I am calling on the Department of Corrections Commissioner Gary Lanigan to immediately step up inspections of all halfway houses and report any violations and recommendations for changes to the deputy chief of staff for policy.”

Typically Christie provides us with a quick, short, meaningless response to serious allegations. Such is weak-hearted effort to call for reform, let the issue die down, and then cover it with a rug. Such has been the experience in the past.

As some Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials as well as Governor Christie accept sizable campaign money from CEC, it is time for an independent investigation. There is too much that is rotten within CEC. It greases its way to lucrative contracts, pays a few top executuves lavishly, mistreats its inmates, endangers the public, and hides its accounting of government funds with opaque non-transparency.

Enough is enough. It is time for detectives, forensic accountants, grant mangement specialists, lawyers, correction specialists, “pay-to-play” experts,  and ethicists to remove the veil, unearth the wrong-doing, and make recommendations for changes.  

Comments (13)

  1. Nick Lento

    Christie is selling out NJ taxpayers to his rich friends…it’s all about crippling unions, weakening government and “legally stealing.   That’s the Republicans way.

    Yeah he talks real tough and compared to Corzine he sounded like a Jersey Boy…..but he remains a machine pol with the same political stripes he started with.

    Here’s some more interesting and negative press coverage of the bully boy…



  2. firstamend07

    The panic and attempt at damage control over the Halfway House multi-million dollar scam is very much real.

    I just finished watching the great William Palatucci cry that the ” liberal media” is attacking him and Christie.

    How comical is it to watch the powerful squirm!

    Palatucci and the whole CEC gang MUST BE DESPERATE to run over to the NJTODAY  studio to offer ” their version” as he said.

    If anyone can get this feed it is hilarious to see Mr. Palatucci  “fidget” while explaining the corrupt Halfway House system.

  3. firstamend07

    TRENTON – In response to a newspaper report documenting widespread escapes and other problems at the state’s halfway houses, Gov. Chris Christie today directed the state Department of Corrections to inspect the facilities and an assemblyman called for hearings on the issue.


    RFP’s are issued and contracts signed between the Owners of the Halfway Houses and the NJDOC .In those contracts are ” monitoring” clauses which are ignored year in and year out.

    So what is Christie’s answer to the Halfway House Debacle. HE ORDERS THE NJDOC TO INVESTIGATE! The same people who sign the contracts and do not enforce the contracts are now in charge of special ” cleanup” investigations!


    This Halfway House scam is costing tens of milions of dollars. It takes away money that can be used for PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMMING AND EDUCATION  inside the NJDOC.

    Christie ,the NJDOC Commissioner ,and many powerful politicians want this to go away.

    Clancy and Palatucci have too much money riding on this scam.

    Let the NJDOC investigate itself and you will never hear a word about this again.  

  4. firstamend07

    One of the things not talkedabout in the articles is how Corrections Officers must respond to problems inside the Halfway houses and the Halfway House operators GET THIS SERVICE FOR FREE!

    If the Halfway House people do not want an inmate anymore they simply call the NJDOC and the Corrections Officers must come and get the unruly inmate.


    No wonder Palatucci and others can claim Halfway houses are so cheap! They get free security!

  5. firstamend07

    Tens of millions of dollar on the line because of some NY Times investigation.

    That had to be corrected.

    Palatucci runs to NJ Today Studio.

    Christie ” demands” DOC Commissioner ” step up” inspections.

    No follow up today by any Legislative leader as they divert attention to other budget and education issues.

    End of story…..

    As Palatucci said to Christie,” That was a close one!”

    The Corrections Dept. will now bury all of this and life will go on.

    The NY Times did a lot of work for a 2 day story.



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