TRENTON – State Comptroller Matt Boxer said today that the law on contracts rewarded to service providers for halfway houses could use more clarity.
Boxer’s office had produced a report last year which said the state Corrections Department had not been adequately overseeing the halfway house program. Ten halfway house providers were overpaid due to math errors, according to the report.
Also, the DOC only conducted a fraction of the visits to these facilities, and they were not unannounced, like state policy dictates, Boxer said during today’s Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee hearing into halfway house problems.
Because the state technically contracts with a non-profit agency (EHCA), it does not have access to financial information of Community Education Centers (CEC), the for-profit company that is actually running the halfway houses, which Boxer described as a “cause for concern.”
Boxer said the office would conduct a follow-up review of the halfway houses.
When committee Chairman Charles Mainor, (D-31), Jersey City, asked what would happen if CEC went belly up.
“The state would be scrambling,” Boxer said.