Halfway House Leaving Downtown Hazleton

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HAZLETON -- Most Hazleton officials and residents said it's a step in the right direction! A controversial halfway house is leaving the city.

Kevin Parks was an inmate at the Minsec Halfway House in downtown Hazleton.

Police said while on a pass he robbed a bank a few blocks away back in September. Authorities said that crime by Minsec inmates is not unusual.

“There is no reason they would have to be in a downtown area like this. It discourages a lot of business, it discourages a lot of people,” said Craig Budde, of Northeast Hazleton Crime Watch.

Budde is happy to hear that Minsec will be moving out of Hazelton. That`s because it was bought by a company in New Jersey.

A spokesman for the new owners of Minsec said they’re in the process of looking for a new location, somewhere in Pennsylvania and that Minsec should be out of the city in a year.

“Maybe if they moved to the suburbs they might be able to control them a lot easier to have them right in the middle of the city where they can do more damage,” said Wally Bringslid of Alder Street Crime Watch.

The new owners of Minsec said they're moving because of concerns expressed by residents and officials in Hazleton.

“I think it's better for the whole area, not just the city. The West Hazleton Chief of Police, the Butler Chief of Police have all expressed concern, so it's an area wide problem. It's not just the city,” said Judge Correale Stevens, of PA Superior Court.

Officials from all over are now wondering where the controversial halfway house will relocate.