New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy mentioned Wednesday that his administration has closed a part of the state’s solely ladies’s jail, partially fulfilling a promise made greater than two years in the past to shut the ability amid reviews of sexual assault and misconduct there.
The Democratic governor mentioned the minimal safety folks have been moved to a brand new satellite tv for pc facility close to the Edna Mahan Ladies’s Correctional Facility in Clinton whereas planning for a brand new ladies’s jail stays underway. These deemed to want medium and most safety nonetheless reside on the older Edna Mahan facility.
In comparison with the 110-year-old ladies’s jail, the short-term facility dates again to 1991 and has extra fashionable dwelling situations, temperature management and pure gentle, the governor’s workplace mentioned in an electronic mail assertion.
14 feminine guards had been accused of misconduct and assault in a ladies’s jail
Victoria Kuhn, the state’s prime corrections official, mentioned the relocation is barely short-term, and a “purpose-built” jail will probably be constructed. In the meantime, she mentioned the satellite tv for pc facility will assist with rehabilitation and re-entry into society.
The choice to shut the jail was introduced in June 2021. It got here after months of headlines for the ability that 12 months, starting in January with what the prosecutor mentioned was a “brutal” assault on ladies housed on the facility by guards. Some ladies had been punched and pepper-sprayed throughout what the general public prosecutor mentioned was exhumation of the cells. This incident led to the indictment of greater than ten guards, and the trials are nonetheless pending.
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This was adopted in August of that 12 months by an settlement between the state and the US Division of Justice to determine a monitor on the facility. On the time, state officers mentioned the deal was a approach to shut out a “sordid” a part of the ability’s previous and transfer ahead.
Except for the January 2021 assault, the jail has lengthy been thought-about troubled. In April 2021, the state introduced a $20 million settlement with ladies held in jail over years of sexual assault and misconduct.
Murphy mentioned in a press release that the protection of individuals detained in state amenities is “of the utmost significance.”
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A report on the jail closure launched alongside Wednesday’s announcement signifies that interagency planning for a brand new ladies’s jail is underway. It’s unclear how lengthy it would take for the brand new facility to be accomplished.