Five N.J. halfway houses fined $45,000 over escapes

Five privately operated halfway houses in New Jersey are being fined a total of $45,000 by the Christie administration for failing to quickly report inmate escapes.

The fines signal that the Department of Corrections is getting serious about the need for halfway house operators to comply with their contracts, says Sen. Bob Gordon, D-Bergen.

 

Gordon says he wants new standards to measure the performance of the halfway houses.

“I’m interested in trying to make sure that if we’re spending $65 million a year on this program that the taxpayers are getting their money’s worth, and we don’t know that unless we start measuring and then holding people accountable,” he said Wednesday.

Gov. Chris Christie has been reluctant to increase oversight of the facilities.

He conditionally vetoed a bill last week that would have required state audits of existing contracts.

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