by William Posters Aug 15, 2013

Critique of Allegations by Journalist Sam Dolnick of The New York Times Against Jack Brown III, CEO of Community First Services, Inc.

According to Jack Brown III, CEO of Community First Services, Inc., Sam Dolnick published false factual allegations against him, his team and his organization.

Sam Dolnick’s series on halfway houses was also criticized by Professor Jonathan Simon, of the UC Berkley Law faculty in June 2012. Despite the scathing critique, Dolnick pursued the series, publishing at least 22 articles (listed below).

Prof. Simon’s opening fusillade against Sam Dolnick succinctly reduces his comprehensive journalistic critique to a bite-sized summary:

“I’ve finished reading New York Times reporter Sam Dolnick’s important investigative report on New Jersey’s burgeoning system of half way houses, Unlocked — and I’m still more impressed with the power of traditional media ways of representing crime and criminal justice than I am with the power of its investigating or reporting.”

Despite Prof. Simon’s Scathing review of Dolnick’s articles, the journalist continued to milk the topic and deceive his readers for many months. He turned his focus from New Jersey to New York, at which point Jack Brown appears to have fallen under the curse of Dolnick’s poison-pen.

Fortunately for NY Times readers and future victims, including many large and small halfway house operators in NY, Sam Dolnick was ‘promoted’ (moved?) to the sports desk after Prof. Simon, Jack Brown and the journalist described below called-out  Dolnick on his deceptions.

NYT Sensational “Escapes” Headlines Ignored Legal Definition Between Parole Absconder and Halfway House Escapee

In another article unrelated to Jack Brown III, of Community First Services, Inc. Sam Dolnick was publicly humiliated when one of his peers, a radio journalist Interviewing him on the Brian Lehrer Show, exposed deliberate duplicity, on Dolnick’s part, in his attempts to terrify his readers by claiming there that 5,100 inmates had “escaped” New Jersey’s halfway houses since 2005. Whereas, Sam Dolnick claimed that the difference between ‘escape’ and ‘abscond’ is merely a “technical argument.”  The reason? The Times said that an escape and an abscond are the identical because if prosecuted and convicted for either, the penalty would be the same. One pundit wrote the following in response to these lies:

“So, if this were a baseball game, the New York Times is arguing that a pop fly to left field and a ground ball to the second baseman are the exactly same the thing simply because you can be called “out” on both.”

The following is NYT reporter Sam Dolnick’s on-air exchange with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer:

MR. BRIAN LEHRER:  “So, Sam, specifically on the end part of that, the New York Times knowingly knew there was a distinction between particularly people on parole and most of those 5,100 people had been paroled.  They’re out in the community and they violated some terms of their parole.  How much do you disagree with his characterization of that in terms of understanding how much of an escape problem they have?”

MR. SAM DOLNICK:  “Well, it’s a, it’s a technical argument.  Um, about, that 5,100 number is about half inmates who are Department of Corrections inmates still.  And about half parolees.  They were paroled to halfway houses.  Um, the, the terms of their parole are they must be under the supervision of the halfway house.  If they flee, then they can be charged with a crime, three to five years is the penalty.  Um, he’s making a distinction, I think he said the word abscond.  Um, the effect is the same.  It’s someone who has, the state is ordered to the custody of a halfway house and then they’re out in the public.”

The following is a reader response to Prof. Simon’s above-mentioned critique:

by: Brooklyn is Watching - August 13, 2012, 10:52 am
“Great job professor calling out this reporter on his terrible reporting and writing.

You should have googled more about this reporter Sam Dolnick too…we know him well in Brooklyn…FUNNY that the New York Times did not mention that Sam Dolnick is related to New York Times ownership and HIS MOM sits on the New York Times Board of Directors. Sam Dolnick is the 1%, a trust fund kid of the New York Times fortune (or lack of), living the trust fund life in his grandma’s Brooklyn brownstone…must be easy for Sam Dolnick to throw these big stones when Mom sits on the board of directors…

Judith Miller, Jayson Blair, and now Sam Dolnick….ahhh the paper of record….”

Titles of Sam Dolnick’s Run of Stories In The “Unlocked” Series:

Democrats in Trenton Push New Halfway-House Rules By SAM DOLNICK
November 21, 2012, Wednesday

As Storm Raged, 15 Fled New Jersey Halfway House By SAM DOLNICK
November 12, 2012, Monday

Executive at Company Tied to New Jersey’s Halfway Houses Is Leaving By SAM DOLNICK
November 9, 2012, Friday

1,200-Bed Halfway House in Newark Is Operating Illegally, Suit Says By SAM DOLNICK
August 22, 2012, Wednesday

Suit Says Newark Halfway House’s Operation Is Illegal By SAM DOLNICK
August 21, 2012, Tuesday

New Jersey Fines Halfway Houses $45,000 Over Escapes By SAM DOLNICK
August 15, 2012, Wednesday

New Jersey Fines Halfway Houses Over Inmate Escapes By SAM DOLNICK
August 14, 2012, Tuesday

Christie Seeks to Weaken Oversight of Halfway Houses By SAM DOLNICK
August 9, 2012, Thursday

Sharp Words on New Jersey Halfway-House System at Assembly Hearing By SAM DOLNICK
July 24, 2012, Tuesday

Halfway-House System Needs Overhaul, N.J. Lawmakers Say By SAM DOLNICK
July 23, 2012, Monday

Focus on Halfway Houses at a State Senate Hearing By SAM DOLNICK
July 20, 2012, Friday

N.J. Legislators Discuss Halfway Houses at Hearing By SAM DOLNICK
July 19, 2012, Thursday

Finances Plague Company Running Halfway Houses By SAM DOLNICK
July 17, 2012, Tuesday

Christie Limits Legislature’s Scrutiny of Halfway Houses By SAM DOLNICK
June 30, 2012, Saturday

Halfway Houses in New Jersey By SAM DOLNICK
June 25, 2012, Monday

Democrats Seek New Reports on New Jersey Halfway Houses By SAM DOLNICK
June 22, 2012, Friday

Christie Orders Stepped-Up Inspections by State of Halfway Houses By SAM DOLNICK
June 19, 2012, Tuesday

New Jersey Company Is Given Jail Contract It Lost By SAM DOLNICK
December 15, 2011, Thursday

Essex County, N.J., Gives Community Education Centers Jail Contract By SAM DOLNICK
December 15, 2011, Thursday

Essex County Reverses Decision on Detention-Center Bid By SAM DOLNICK
August 16, 2011, Tuesday

Essex County, N.J., Gets One Bid for Detention Center Contract By SAM DOLNICK
July 29, 2011, Friday

Political Links Seen Behind Essex County Detention Center Bid By SAM DOLNICK
July 28, 2011, Thursday