Democratic lawmakers are demanding details of a $21 million settlement reached with current and former inmates at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women. The state says it settled 22 civil litigations against the Department of Corrections over allegations of sexual abuse, assault and harassment made by women while incarcerated at the prison. Some of the cases stem as far back as 2014.
The settlement is not related to an early January incident in which officers were accused of severely beating inmates that led to charges against eight officers and prompted an outside investigation.
In a statement, NJ Department of Corrections commissioner Marcus Hicks said his administration is ushering in a new era, but Sen. Loretta Weinberg says the taxpayer-funded payout is further evidence that a culture of abuse has been allowed to fester for years. She joins a growing chorus of lawmakers calling for Hicks to resign. He went face-to-face with some of them Thursday at a special joint legislative session in Trenton, part of the probe into the January attack.