by Chris Megerian/The Star-Ledger
State Parole Board officials say it's the first of its kind in the nation.
"We have to take full credit for this one," said Director of Community Programs Lenny Ward. "This is a New Jersey initiative."
The idea is to take technical parole violators -- people who haven't committed a new crime but may have failed a drug test or missed a meeting -- and house them for 15 to 30 days at secure facilities run by a private company, Community Education Centers, in Newark or Trenton.
Officials hope the program, which can house 45 parole violators at a time, will help the state avoid $14 million in incarceration costs in the coming budget year.