A new Rutgers University report says states need to make sure that privately run halfway houses have clear mandates and are held accountable for carrying them out.

The report out Wednesday finds halfway houses need to be part of a larger strategy of reintroducing ex-offenders into the community. There also must be a checklist of requirements that offenders must complete before being released.

New Jersey's halfway houses have been criticized for lax management. The report calls for more public transparency about how well halfway houses are working and codified procedures for how the public-private contracts will work.

The 17-page report was written by a panel of experts in government and corrections.

A Pennsylvania study released in March showed that halfway houses did not reduce recidivism rates.


(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)