A new report states that prisoners at New Jersey Women’s prison have been sexually abused for years by the guards and other prison staff.
The reports reads that the substantiated incidents of staff sexual abuse of prisoners at Edna Mahan are varied and disturbing.
It further went on to say,
“The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution guarantees prisoners reasonable safety from harm,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “Our investigation found reasonable cause to conclude that women prisoners at Edna Mahan are at substantial risk of sexual abuse by staff because systemic deficiencies discourage prisoners from reporting sexual abuse and allow sexual abuse to occur undetected and undeterred.”
“The incidents of sexual abuse follow similar patterns where officers and staff sexually assault and harass women who are vulnerable to sexual abuse and fear retaliation, violence, deprivation of privileges, or endure sexual abuse in exchange for food, medication, or contraband, in violation of the prisoners’ constitutional rights,” the report states.
According to Huffpost, one correctional officer, who admitted to repeatedly having sexual intercourse with two prisoners and was sentenced in June to three years in prison, had been tasked to teach newly hired correction officers that sexual contact between officers and prisoners was a crime.
“A ‘culture of acceptance’ of sexual abuse has persisted for many years and continues to the present,” the DOJ said. “Despite being on notice of this sexual abuse, NJDOC and Edna Mahan failed to take timely action to remedy the systemic problems that enabled correction officers and other staff to continue to sexually abuse Edna Mahan prisoners.”
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