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Vainieri Huttle & Weinberg Call for Top to Bottom Review of Women’s Prison after Startling New Abuse Reports

Assembly Deputy Speaker Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (both D-Bergen) on Wednesday called for a top-to-bottom review of the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women after the latest report from NJ Advance Media documented extensive cases of sexual abuse and exploitation of female inmates, as well as allegations of cover-ups by facility administrators.

In doing so, Weinberg and Vainieri Huttle sent a letter to Attorney General Christopher Porrino and Corrections Commissioner Gary Lanigan asking them to conduct the review to “determine whether a substantial structural and cultural overhaul” of the facility is warranted.

In their letter, the lawmakers noted that, “The breadth and scope of these allegations raises serious questions about the leadership at this facility, its adherence to legal protocol and its commitment to protecting the safety and welfare of female inmates.”

They also noted that “court records of substantiated cases of abuse appear far higher than the number of substantiated rape claims that corrections officials have reported to the federal government, as they are required by law.”

In light of this, the lawmakers also requested a “review to determine if all relevant state and federal laws are being adhered to, particularly when it comes to reporting requirements for sexual and other abuse allegations.”

A full copy of the letter can be viewed here.