The Problem with PA Halfway Houses: Too Much “Jerry Springer”

The failures (and suspected political corruption) of New Jersey’s halfway houses have been subject to months of scrutiny from The New York Times. Now, the Times turns its attention to Pennsylvania, where it flags a landmark February Corbett administration study that found that the state’s halfway houses are completely ineffective at reducing recidivism (the whole point).

67 percent of inmates sent to halfway houses were rearrested or sent back to prison within three years, compared with 60 percent of inmates who were released to the streets.

Community Education Centers, one of the groups that’s come under fire in New Jersey, is also the largest halfway house provider in Pennsylvania. There and elsewhere, said Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, “The focus has been on filling up beds” rather than “good outcomes.” Plus, he said, inmates were watching too much “Jerry Springer.” [New York Times]