Halfway House Reform: Call Christie’s Bluff

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.    

Comments (3)

  1. Stella Tulli

    Bill, I wholeheartedly agree with  calling Christie on his bluff.. Here it is, almost 4 months after I testified- and I’m still  waiting to hear what changes, if any, are being done.

    I”m disappointed, to say the least. I remember Mr. Mainor telling me my words were heard and serious reform would be looked into.. yet. nothing happening..

    As for Christie and his playing games comment– he should be the last one to talk about playing games.  You nailed it right on the head– he wants stronger oversight of halfway homes,yet vetoes the bill —

    The only thing I gather from him is he a strong talker, but not good at following through. I’ve said it over and over– ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.

    in this case, his inaction to me is saying. FU.

    why bother changing a cash cow ?  

  2. firstamend07

    The NJDOC pays the Halfway House owners in New Jersey almost $100 million each year to house inmates.

    The contracts DO HAVE accountability clauses .

    It is the responsibility of the NJDOC to hold the HalfwayHouse owners to the demands of the multi-million dollar contracts.

    Why have they refused to do so?

    Six months ago the Governor ordered” stepped up investigations” to be done by the NJDOC.

    The results of those investigations?


    Why no accountability? The taxpayers spend A LOT  of money on this Corrections Department yet get NO answers.

    It is time for some direct questiosn and some direct answers from the Department that is in charge of enforcing contract compliance!  

  3. Rosi Efthim

    Just a reminder that it was Stella Tulli whose testimony opened the 7-hour halfway house hearing before Assembly Law & Public Safety, telling the story of the murder of her little sister Viviana, 21, by escapee David Goodell.

    Here’s the post Stella wrote about that for Blue Jersey in July.  


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