Tag Archive: CEC

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.  

“No Retreat, No Surrender” To Essex Co. Immigration Detention Expansion

“The history of immigration detention in New Jersey includes a myriad of cases of abuse, including a number of shocking deaths, a culture of secrecy and lack of transparency. What is driving local governments and corporations to embrace the expansion of immigration detention is money. The political situation in Essex County does not lend itself to oversight. CEC has been skirting both pay to pay regulation and campaign donation disclosure requirements through a shell game where EHCA holds the contract but CEC runs the facilities and nets the lion’s share of the profits.” – Essex County Immigration Detention Expansion, an Invitation for Abuse by the New Jersey Advocates For Immigrant Detainees and Enlace

The 19-page Invitation to Abuse Report lays bare in sickening detail the underbelly of immigration detention in New Jersey. Using links and charts it not only provides shocking support for claims of lobbying, cronyism, and malfeasance, but also becomes a clarion call for reform.  

The report addresses:

  •  NJ State Comptroller’s Reports

  •  Essex County Lack of Oversight

  •  Essex County Overstated Profits, Externalized & Underestimated Costs

  •  Joe DiVincenzo, Essex County & NJ Politics

  •  Joe DiVincenzo, Essex County Jail & Community Education Center (CEC)

  •  Bill Palatucci and CEC- Straddling Politics and Busines

  •  Delaney Hall

  •  CEC’s Campaign Contributions

  •  Preventable Deaths of People in CEC’s Custody

    On December 14  the Essex County Freeholders voted unanimously to approve a subcontract with Education & Health Centers of America (EHCA) to house immigrant detainees despite being presented with a petition that  had over 3000 signatures on-line and 1,000 in hard copy. The report documents why this vote must be rescinded, New Jersey’s immigration detention business must be reformed, and laws need to be changed.

    This “smoking gun” report, with which Joe DiVicenzo and an EHCA spokesperson disagree, forms the basis for a continued call to arms. Kathy O’Leary (Pax Christi NJ) and Karina Wilkinson (Middlesex County Coalition for Immigrant Rights) have led this NJ effort. They are now in the midst of getting the report into the hands of state and local legislators, advocating for an Inmate Oversight Committee and planning future actions. Their attitude, against all odds but with a lot of work, has always been: “No retreat, no surrender.” For more information go to An Invitation to Abuse Report and Pax Christi NJ facebook.  

  • Joe D. Parties with the 1%

    Essex County’s holiday party was held recently at McLoone’s Boathouse, a luxury restaurant and catering venue that Essex County just paid $4.3 million to build. The party was hosted by Joe DiVincenzo, Essex County Executive.

    Among the guests was Lt Governor Kim Guadagno who supported anti-immigrant policies while Sheriff of Monmouth County.

    Also among the guests was 1 percenter John J. Clancy, CEO of Community Education Centers (CEC) whose company has donated $300,000 to Essex County politicians and was twice the sole bidder on the sub-contract for immigration detention in Essex County.

    Wonder how much of the $50 million Essex County claims to be receiving from the ICE contract was used for this little shindig.

    Joe DiVincenzo Cancels Clancy/Palatucci CEC Bid on Immigration Detention Facility

    A highly unusual turn of events has just occurred  in the politics of Essex County, federal immigration detention plans, the commercial world of Community Education Centers (CEC),  pay-to-play activities, and suspect contracting procedures. As the Star-Ledger reported on Thursday, Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) announced it had signed a new five year, $50 million contract with Essex County that would triple the number of federal immigration detainees being held in the county jail system. The new contract was designed to give ICE access to 800 beds at the county’s Newark jail and up to 450 beds at adjacent Delaney Hall. Education and Health Centers of America (EHCA), a non-profit shell agency, subcontracts its work to for-profit CEC which owns and operates Delaney Hall. EHCA was the winner and sole bidder in an accelerated, flawed county bidding process for the 450-bed portion of the ICE agreement.

    Palatucci and Privatization/Would Christie risk it?

    Palatucci and Christie are “national”names. Would either risk having their names attached to a sweetheart privatization deal?

    Palatucci is senior vice president of CEC,Inc,the largest private prison company operating in the State. This company already controls the vast majority of halfway houses in New Jersey. They also operate a private prison in the Philadelphia suburbs.

    Last year,Christie’s first, it was barely noticed that the Halfway houses got a $3 million subsidy increase inside a Corrections Dept. budget that was reduced by about 4%.

    Maybe just  a coincidence.

    This year the Corrections Dept. was ordered to create an RFP for privatizing inmate education .Financially this makes no sense since education represents barely 2% of the NJDOC budget.

    If there is no real financial savings why do it?

    Last year,two days before he left office Corzine signed the Inmate reentry bills. This law mandates increased inmate education programming over the next 5 years.Then Governor elect Christie demanded that Corzine veto the law. Since he became Governor many of the edicts have never been implemented.

    So why the concern about inmate education now?

    Why bother to privatize an area of the NJDOC that has been ignored for years?

    Can it be that there is a nice payday down the line?

    Would two lifetime buddies get together and talk about how a  friendship can be financially beneficial?

    Who knows. Just speculation.

    No way two nationally,politically powerful people,would ever make such a deal………

    Especially in New Jersey!    

    NJDOC Privatization/William Palatucci

    This is interesting. – promoted by Rosi

    One of the targets of the Christie privatization task force has been the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

    Any wonder now?

    PolitickerNJ’s #1 Power Broker is William Palatucci.

    He is described as Governor Christie’s main confidant.

    He is also on the management team for CEC, Inc. The Community Education Center, Inc. (CEC, Inc.) runs privatized Halfway houses and Prisons throughout the country.

    The Billion Dollar New Jersey Department of Corrections would be a nice “plum” for CEC ,Inc.

    Of course you will only hear how CEC, Inc. is there only to save the taxpayer money!

    Whitman had Parsons (family connections), Christie might be having CEC (#1 Buddy connection)!

    Watch out Corrections Department!