The ACLU-NJ issued the following statement today concerning the release of a report investigating Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women, the state's only women's prison, and the announcement by Gov. Phil Murphy of plans to close the Edna Mahan and relocate people to a new facility or other facilities.
The following statement can be attributed to ACLU-NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero:
“Edna Mahan’s systemic abuses have long called for action, and the Governor’s announcement together with today’s report create an important moment for addressing the profound harm of our corrections system – but we can and must go much further than relocating people from one facility to another. Changing a name or location does little to check the systemic and cultural issues plaguing our state’s prison system, and it will not prevent further injustices. The recommendations to use the full power of the Office of the Corrections Ombudsperson are particularly important, and our organization looks forward to ensuring the office lives up to its mandate of protecting people not just in Edna Mahan, but in all of New Jersey’s prisons. In every step that follows this report, and in every effort to end the daily injustices that take place in prisons, the voices of survivors must play a central role in shaping policy. Closing an institution will not end the forces that allowed it to perpetuate a culture of abuse; we can only address systemic injustices through significant changes in policy and a commitment to enforcing those changes with transparency and accountability.”