Something has bothered me all week since Bill Orr’s excellent post, Gary Lanigan’s Head: Stuck in the Sand. Lanigan, to refresh you, is Christie’s Corrections Commissioner. He’s not concerned about security and safety issues at NJ’s halfway houses, despite the fact it took the New York Times to get our state government to pay much attention, despite escapes during Hurricane Sandy (seriously, the system fails because of … weather?), and concerns that Christie friend/advisor/contributor till recently ran the corporate privatizer responsible for most of the issues. Lanigan’s job encompasses not only security concerns but also the rights of inmates and the community.
That said, his remarks to Senate Budget were so casual, as if he doesn’t take seriously how easily the system we’ve now let tycoons take over can be tricked by inmates. Yesterday, I chatted with Stella Tulli, whose sister was murdered by a man who fled a CEC facility by pretending to be sick. As irritating as Lanigan’s remarks were to me, they were something else beyond that for her. I thought part of what she wrote in Bill’s post deserved to be pulled up to our front page (which she gave permission for). Here’s how it looks to Stella:
I have a personal interest in the way the halfway house situation is going… I feel the need to speak and remind everyone who reads this on my family’s dealings with this situation..
My 21 year old sister was murdered by a CEC inmate who faked a seizure, transported to hospital and bc of not having any law enforcement with him, he escaped.
He then met up with my sister and ended her life.
This may be a small “anecdote” to Lanigan, but to my family and myself- our lives continue in a nightmarish reality.. Reading this garbage from Lanigan and seeing how much time it is getting to move on halfway house reform is another punch to the gut.
It floors and appalls me that Gary Lanigan is not bothered in the least on this situation.
The corrections commissioner in Pennsylvania admits there is a problem with the halfway house system, yet this guy can’t bring himself to admit it. I can only assume the more he tells himself it isn’t a problem, it isn’t. seems as if he needs to convince not only himself, but the lemmings as well.