At least 15 inmates escaped from a large New Jersey halfway house in Newark called Logan Hall, including some who had served time for aggravated assault, weapons possession, and armed robbery, reports the New York Times. It was one of the largest mass escapes in the recent history of New Jersey’s corrections system. All but one of the escapees have been recaptured. After violence broke out on Oct. 29, about 50 law enforcement officers from at least four state and county agencies converged on Logan Hall.
Community Education Centers, the politically connected company that runs the 650-bed halfway house, appears to have done little if anything to prepare for the storm. The workers on duty, many of whom were poorly paid, did not know how to operate the backup generator, witnesses said. They did not have flashlights. “To characterize this as some sort of mass prison break is a reckless exaggeration in support of a false narrative,” said a corrections department spokesman, Matthew Schuman. Community Education said, “A small number of the 547 residents did take advantage of the storm to create a minor disturbance and damaged a few vending machines.”