Feds found rampant sex abuse at N.J. women’s prison. Now lawmakers want answers.

S.P. Sullivan | April 16, 2020 | NJ Advance Media |

 

Two of New Jersey’s most powerful female lawmakers say they want a public accounting of what’s going on behind the walls of the state women’s prison after a scathing report from the U.S. Justice Department found sex abuse of prisoners by staff remained an “open secret.”

State Sen. Linda Greenstein, who chairs the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, said she was “appalled and disheartened” that federal investigators found the abuse, which dates back decades, had persisted to this day.

Greenstein, whose committee held a public hearing two years ago following a series of reports from NJ Advance Media detailing problems at the prison, said she would convene another one to seek answers from the Department of Corrections, which did not participate in the first hearing.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg called the federal report “very disturbing” and said she was working with Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration to get a clear understanding of what needed to be done to prevent any more abuse and avoid costly legal action by federal officials.

The report, released Monday, found conditions at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women violate the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the federal Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.

 

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