New Jersey authorities are investigating what happened to more than $16,000 withdrawn from a bank account belonging to juvenile inmates in Ocean County, as well as the possibility that 11 cash advances were authorized with forged signatures, says the Newark Star-Ledger. The state Auditor's Office said the questionable transactions, which have been referred to the state Division of Criminal Justice, were among a number of problems with how the Juvenile Justice Commission, which oversees juvenile offenders, accounts for inmate wages and other cash receipts.
The report examined the finances of the commission's 13 residential centers for juvenile inmates with substance abuse problems. At 10 of the centers, the auditor found discrepancies between computerized bank account balances and actual balances kept by hand. In most of the cases, the centers failed to reconcile monthly spending and record checks on the computer, making it difficult to keep track of money and leaving open the possibility of abuse, the auditor said.