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New Jersey will shut its solely jail for girls after years of documented bodily and sexual abuses of inmates by guards.
Gov. Phil Murphy introduced in a press launch Monday his intention to shut the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Girls and transfer its practically 400 inmates to a brand new facility or different current services.
“Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Girls has a protracted historical past of abusive incidents predating our Administration, and we should now commit ourselves to utterly breaking this sample of misconduct to raised serve incarcerated girls entrusted to the State’s care,” the Democratic governor stated in an announcement.
The transfer got here on the identical day that the governor’s workplace launched its findings into stories of brutal cell extractions that occurred contained in the jail on January 11, first reported by NJ Advance Media, which left girls prisoners with accidents starting from scratches to a fractured eye socket.
The administration’s report, written by the legislation agency Lowenstein Sandler LLP, discovered that jail employees used extreme pressure to take away the ladies from their cells after which filed false stories about what had occurred.
The New Jersey Legal professional Basic’s Workplace has now charged 10 corrections officers with official misconduct and different crimes within the ongoing legal inquiry into the January 11 incident.
Requires a change in tradition
Nafeesah A. Goldsmith, chair of New Jersey Jail Justice Watch, stated she didn’t oppose the closure of Edna Mahan, however recommended merely shifting inmates to a different facility wouldn’t put an finish to the abuse of feminine prisoners.
“You have to change the tradition,” she stated. “Not a change of surroundings.”
Goldsmith, who was incarcerated at Edna Mahan for practically 13 years earlier than being launched in 2017, additionally referred to as for higher coaching of corrections officers and extra impartial oversight of the jail system.
In 2020, federal investigators concluded that sexual abuse was systemic at Edna Mahan, and in April state Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks introduced that New Jersey was finalizing a consent decree with the Justice Division that may doubtless embrace federal displays on the jail.
The N.J. Division of Corrections additionally introduced earlier this 12 months that it agreed to pay practically $21 million to settle 22 civil lawsuits in opposition to the state over allegations of sexual abuse and harassment on the troubled correctional facility.