Halfway house oversight focus of Assembly hearing

TRENTON – Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee Chairman Charles Mainor will hold a committee hearing Monday to investigate the lack of oversight at the state’s halfway houses, an issue which came to light following a series of investigative reports in The New York Times.

The committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. Monday in Room 11 at the State House Annex in Trenton. The hearing will focus on the status of halfway houses operating under the state Department of Corrections.

“This is a serious matter that deserves close scrutiny, especially in light of Gov. Christie’s indefensible line-item vetoes of stricter halfway house oversight,” said Mainor, (D-31), Jersey City. “The longer we allow this system to continue as-is unchecked, the more we jeopardize the safety and well being of the public at large. As we’ve seen, it’s had tragic results already.”

The New York Times stories, among other things, detailed rampant violence, gang activity, drug use, sexual assault and inmate escapes.

The Legislature inserted language in this year’s budget that would have required the state Department of Corrections to improve oversight of halfway houses, but Gov. Chris Christie vetoed it.

Audio of the hearing will be streamed at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.

Halfway house oversight focus of Assembly hearing