New Jersey commissioner of Corrections visits SHU

Dr. John Paitakes’ Community Corrections, Probation and Parole class will host a guest speaker today.

Paitakes, a retired New Jersey probation officer and former state Parole Board member, teaches multiple classes at Seton Hall and said this isn’t the first time Gary Lanigan has come to speak.

Lanigan was chosen by Gov. Chris Christie in March 2010 as the New Jersey commissioner of Corrections and has worked in the criminal justice and financial management fields for more than 30 years, according to Paitakes.

Paitakes asked Lanigan to speak to his Community Corrections class about the state’s corrections system as well as its facilities today.

“The commissioner will focus on the state of corrections and prisons in New Jersey and how they help to prepare inmates for parole,” Paitakes said.

Lanigan will address some of the problems in the prison system today including overcrowding and illegal cell phones and will also talk about the rehab programs that the department offers as well as answering any student questions.

Paitakes, in addition to offering extra credit to the students who attend class and write a reaction paper to the commissioners’ discussion, said the students will gain some knowledge on the NJDOC and its facilities as they exist today.

“The students should get a current view of the state of prison incarceration in New Jersey,” Paitakes said.

As for the field of criminal justice, Paitakes offers encouragement for those who want to follow in the footsteps of Lanigan or to make their own path in any department of corrections.

“There are a number of interesting career opportunities for criminal justice students in corrections to include administrative and counseling positions,” Paitakes said. “There is job security and the pay and benefits are very good.”

Eric Hostettler can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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