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The company is described in the press as having close ties to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. In 2011, New Jersey and its counties spent about $105 million on halfway houses. Of that amount, about $71 million went to Community Education Centers.
The firm operates fourteen jails, mostly in Texas. Its largest “secure facility” is the George W Hill Correctional Facility in Thornton, Pennsylvania with a capacity of 1,883. It also has contracts for twenty six “residential reentry” facilities, more commonly called “halfway houses.” The largest of these is Delaney Hall in Newark, New Jersey with a capacity of 1,196. It also offers a number of residential treatment programs funded by Native American tribes in six states.
In June, 2012, the New York Times published the results of a 10-month long investigation into the halfway houses operated by the firm in New Jersey. Almost three quarters of one group of inmates at a New Jersey facility tested positive for various drugs. Although government contracts required inmates be provided therapy and job training no such programs were offered.
The firm is paid about seventy dollars a day to house each inmate, about half the cost of a prisoner held in a state-run facility. Some of the inmates in the facilities retain connections to gangs. The Delaney Hall facility, for example, includes inmates affiliated with the Bloods. Drugs are widely available at least at the New Jersey sites covered by the report.
In January, 2012, the Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Corrections Department, Lydell B Sherrer plead guilty to federal extortion charges related to jobs at the facilities.
In July 2012, the New Jersey State Legislature held two days of hearings on halfway houses in the state. Shortly after the hearings, the state imposed a fine of $45,000 on contractors including Community Education Centers for not notifying state authorities promptly when inmates escaped. Six inmates escaped from facilities run my the firm.
The company's senior vice president is William J. Palatucci, a close friend and advisor to Governor Christie. He and the governor's brother Todd Christie co-chaired the governor's inaugural committee.