Governor Phil Murphy today announced his intention to close the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women, New Jersey’s only women’s correctional facility. The Murphy Administration today also released an investigative report prepared by former State Comptroller Matt Boxer and the law firm Lowenstein Sandler LLP on cell extractions at the facility that occurred on January 11, 2021.
“After learning about the violent attacks that took place on January 11 at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women, I ordered an independent investigation to determine what happened, how it happened, and to ensure a situation like this never occurs again in our correctional facilities,” said Governor Murphy. “With former New Jersey State Comptroller Matt Boxer’s detailed investigative report, we now have key information about the circumstances surrounding the incidents that night and a roadmap to prevent unauthorized cell extractions and violence against inmates.
“I am deeply disturbed and disgusted by the horrific attacks that took place on January 11. Individuals in state custody deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and the officers involved in this incident, both directly and indirectly, abused their power to send a message that they were in charge. The excessive use of force, as outlined in the report, cannot and will not be tolerated by my Administration. I am grateful to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal for his swift action in filing criminal charges against multiple officers involved in these appalling attacks.
“Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women has a long history of abusive incidents predating our Administration, and we must now commit ourselves to completely breaking this pattern of misconduct to better serve incarcerated women entrusted to the State’s care.
“After reading the report and its recommendations, I have decided that the only path forward is to responsibly close the facility. I look forward to working with our partners in the Legislature to responsibly close down the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women and relocate inmates to a new facility or other facilities. While this will not happen overnight, I intend to work with legislative leadership during the current budget cycle to allocate funding to begin this multi-year process.