Inmates at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton were subjected to cruel and unusual punishment that included them being forced to engage in sexual acts with staff to avoid punishment or in exchange for items like cigarettes. Most of the incidents involved senior officials who had worked at the facility for many years, according to a detailed report released Monday by the Department of Justice.
If a prisoner reports allegations of sexual abuse, they undergo a physical examination while in handcuffs and shackles, are strip-searched and then moved to the maximum-security compound where they are held for up to 72 hours in solitary confinement until they are interviewed. They are then likely to be moved from their unit or their job instead of the alleged abuser being moved away from them, which the NJDOC has the authority to do. This entire process is viewed as “retaliatory, punitive, and traumatic” by the inmates, which could dissuade victims to speak out about abuse, the report said.