Democrats and Republicans Unite Behind Urgent Push for Action
Trenton – In response to the brutal January 11th attack and continued mistreatment of the women at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility the Senate today unanimously approved a bipartisan joint resolution sponsored by Senator Dawn Addiego and Senator Kristin Corrado calling for Commissioner Marcus Hicks to resign or be removed.
“The brutal January assault on women inmates by corrections officers in riot gear is just the latest episode of abuse at Edna Mahan,” said Senator Addiego (Atlantic/Burlington/Camden). “The fact that 32 corrections officers, including the acting superintendent, were put on leave following the attack shows that a toxic culture has been allowed to continue at this institution.
“The most egregious part is that it all could have been avoided had Commissioner Hicks agreed to the Department of Justice’s proposed settlement, which would most likely have brought federal monitors into Edna Mahan whose presence might have discouraged the brutal January 11th assaults. He delayed these changes for months, and we still do not have a consent agreement. Commissioner Hick has blood on his hands and it is unacceptable that over a month after the attack he has yet to take responsibility for his failures as commissioner and resign. If he will not resign, it is my hope the Governor will do the right thing and remove him, and move the inmates from Edna Mahan to a facility where they do not have to fear for their lives day in and day out.”
The resolution, SJR-108, also calls on the Governor to transfer inmates to a safe facility and demands the Department of Corrections comply with the recommendations of the US Department of Justice which were issued more than six months ago.
“The unspeakable atrocities at Edna Mahan leave no doubt that it is time for the commissioner to go,” said Senator Corrado (R-Bergen/Essex/Passaic). “It is a travesty that the Governor refuses to hold his administration accountable for failures. Unfortunately, it has come to this. Until Hicks is replaced, it will be impossible to restore trust in the corrections system. Change must begin at the top. Those responsible for the conditions and abuses at Edna Mahon must be held accountable.”