(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex) released the following statement in response to alleged cases of abuse at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility:
“I am horrified by the news that dozens of staffers are accused of physically abusing inmates earlier this month at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility. Their suspensions are warranted. The continued alleged misuse of force and repeated abuses against inmates at Edna Mahan are reprehensible and barbaric.
“Last session, I sponsored the Dignity Act, landmark legislation to address the conditions inmates face while incarcerated and to establish a robust Office of the Ombudsman to act as an advocate and independent resource for inmates and their families. We must ensure the provisions of the law are being properly applied and New Jersey must lead the nation in ensuring that our correctional facilities are rehabilitative not punitive.
“I ask Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks and the Office of the Corrections Ombudsman to implement the provisions of the Dignity Act now, in order to protect the welfare and wellbeing of inmates. Abuse has no place in New Jersey’s correctional facilities nor any correctional facility, period.”