Lautenberg wants federal review of halfway house contracts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Prisons last week, requesting a thorough review of BOP contracts with halfway houses and re-entry facilities.

“While the goals of re-entry programs are commendable, I am troubled that the implementation of these programs puts residents, staffers, and local communities at risk,” Lautenberg wrote in his letter to BOP director Charles  Samuels.  

“I request that the Federal Bureau of Prisons carefully examine its contracts with companies that provide re-entry services and investigate the conditions at these facilities to ensure they are safe and secure.”

The letter follows a series of reports in The New York Times, which did a 10-month investigation that found an alarming lack of oversight and dangerous conditions at halfway houses in New Jersey, leading to safety concerns surrounding communities.

On Friday, Gov. Chris Christie removed language from the fiscal year 2013 budget regarding quarterly reporting and providing notice to the Joint Budget Oversight Committee.

Also, he took out language that specified reporting on “the actions taken to protect clients imprisoned for non-violent crimes from clients imprisoned for violent crimes.”

Lautenberg letter: