New Jersey's privately-run system of halfway houses is crime-ridden and porous, according to a lengthy report in the New York Times. Since 2005, around 5,100 inmates have escaped from the system—1,300 since Governor Chris Christie took office. One prisoner committed murder after escaping. “The system is a mess,” a former senior corrections investigator says. “No matter how many escaped, no matter how many were caught, no matter how many committed heinous acts while they were on the run, they still kept releasing more guys into the halfway houses, and it kept happening over and over again.”
Community Education Centers is a company that runs six out of the two dozen halfway houses in New Jersey, and is described as playing a "principal role" in the system. Governor Christie isn't the only politician tied to the company, but is certainly the most prominent. He served as a registered lobbyist for the company in 2000 and 2001, and hired the son-in-law of the company's CEO for a job in the governor's office.
In a speech that is used in a Community Education promo video, Christie says, “Places like this are to be celebrated. Because as you walk through here, as I’ve done many times, what you see right before your very eyes are miracles happening.”
That's not exactly the picture painted in the Times' video that accompanies the story, in which former residents of the halfway houses describe instances of stabbings, drug-dealing, and sexual assaults.