How JEHT Foundation Demise Hurts State Corrections Reform


More fallout of the JEHT foundation’s demise on criminal-justice projects was detailed by JEHT is closing its doors because its assets were lost in the $50 billion Ponzi scheme that Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff is accused of orchestrating. Among the funds lost were millions of dollars earmarked for corrections-related projects in the states, ranging from post-conviction DNA testing for inmates in Texas to housing assistance for ex-convicts in Kansas.

“I'm not sure people will ever appreciate what they did to make our state safer and make the country safer,” said Roger Werholtz, secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections, which got $4.7 million from the foundation in 2007 to help pay for a statewide pilot program that helps former inmates find jobs, transportation and housing. The program is credited with reducing recidivism in the state by a third and putting off the construction of new prisons. Kansas has already received $4 million of the foundation's grant; only the final $700,000 will be lost. In Michigan, the foundation provided about $6 million to help create and continue another statewide anti-recidivism program, the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative. Even worse than the loss of the foundation's funding, said a Michigan official, is the loss of a organization that acted as a partner “in the truest sense of the word.”


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