In another story in its examination of New Jersey halfway houses, the New York Times explores how financial concerns are playing a pivotal role in prison privatization in the state, which is a national leader in this movement. The story focuses on Delaney Hall, a 1,200-bed halfway house in Newark that was set up to rehabilitate inmates sentenced for minor offenses but in fact mixes them with violent criminals.
The facility generates revenue for the county. By placing inmates at Delaney Hall, Essex County frees beds at its jail. It then earns a significant profit by renting those beds to the federal government to house federal inmates and immigration detainees. About 40 percent of the county jail's roughly 2,400 beds are now reserved for federal use. Essex County receives as much as $108 per day for each bed the federal government uses at the county jail. The county spends $73 per day for a bed at Delaney Hall, which is run by Community Education Centers, which has close ties to Gov. Chris Christie and the county executive, Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. The difference of about $35 a day per bed is extra revenue for the county.