Sam Dolnick in the New York Times on Sunday once again detailed a horrific scene of chaos, violence and escapes at a Community Education Centers halfway house facility:
“As Hurricane Sandy raged outside, dozens of male inmates burst into Logan Hall’s corridors. They threatened female inmates, tore apart furniture and ripped signs inscribed with inspirational sayings from the walls, witnesses said. At least 15 inmates escaped from the halfway house, including some who had served time for aggravated assault, weapons possession and armed robbery.”
Governor Christie’s response was “I’m happy to sign smart legislation from either party that helps make our state a better place. But if all they want to do is play games, then I know how to do that, too.” The legislature has not been playing games. It is the governor who previously vetoed a reform bill and removed language from the budget that would require more frequent reporting.
The legislature held two hearing on halfway houses nearly four months ago under the chairmanship of Senator Robert Gordon (D-38) and Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31). It is time for legislators to call the Governor’s bluff, pass new bills and present them to him for signature.