Saturday, July 30, 2011

Political Links Seen Behind New Jersey Detention Center Bid

By Sam Dolnick, New York Times
July 27, 2011

Three weeks ago, Essex County, N.J., announced that it was seeking a company to run a 450-bed immigrant detention center, hoping to take advantage of a federally financed initiative to set up such facilities with better supervision and medical care.

The county said the contracting process was open to any company. But behind the scenes, it appears that officials have a clear favorite: Community Education Centers, which has a checkered record in immigrant detention but counts one of Gov. Chris Christie’s closest confidants as a senior vice president. The company’s executives are also political backers of the county executive, Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., a prominent ally of Mr. Christie. [...]

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