Governor Phil Murphy announced today his intention to close the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in light of the facility’s history of abuse, including recent attacks in January that resulted in several inmates being physically and sexually assaulted by guards.
Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex), who has championed reforms in this and other correctional facilities, issued the following statement in response:
“First and foremost, I stand with the prisoner community and am horrified by the details of the Report of Investigation on the January 11, 2021 Cell Extractions at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women. It is clear from the contents of this report that there were systemic failures that led to this incident in the first place.
“My colleagues and I are dedicated to exploring and taking action on the Governor’s recommendations regarding Edna Mahan. Not only will we seek fair and reasonable ways to relocate the incarcerated women in this facility, but we will continue our efforts to ensure these kinds of abuses cannot take place in any other New Jersey correctional facility.
“We have a responsibility to ensure the people involved in our justice system are treated with dignity and respect. Additionally, we have a responsibility to ensure the laws we pass are adhered to and implemented. I remain committed to ensuring measures like body-worn cameras, independent oversight, and proper training of facility staff will be implemented to protect the rights of all incarcerated individuals in our state.”