New Jersey hires correctional planning and design consultant to relocate Edna Mahan prison

(The Center Square) – The New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) has “enlisted” a planning and design consultant to help relocate Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women.

The Moss Group (TMG) subcontracted Steve Carter of CGL Services for $312,752, according to information provided to The Center Square by Liz Velez, director of communication for NJDOC.

“The work he’s doing is an extension of the DOC’s partnership with TMG, which he’s a part of, making him acutely aware of the needs of the residents at Edna Mahan,” Velez said in an email to The Center Square.

In June, Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the state to close the Clinton facility following reports of inmate abuse, and then-NJDOC Commissioner Marcus Hicks resigned following the announcement. The governor’s announcement coincided with the release of an investigative report into alleged misconduct at the facility.

According to a news release, the work includes “a three-phase approach,” including examining current prison facilities to see if the state “can retrofit infrastructure to meet the aligned vision.” It could also “partner with the New Jersey Department of Treasury to identify alternative vacant facilities.”

In an announcement, Carter said his evaluation “will initially examine the ability to adapt, and potentially expand, selected prisons to accommodate these needs with an eye towards an ultimate purpose-built women’s correctional center.”

In April 2020, the United States Department of Justice said it believed the NJDOC “fails to keep prisoners at Edna Mahan safe from sexual abuse by staff.” The state has reached a $20.8 million taxpayer-funded settlement of lawsuits involving current and former inmates at Edna Mahan.

In August, the federal government and New Jersey reached a proposed agreement to resolve inmate abuse claims at Edna Mahan.

“This process represents a significant transformative step forward with a clean slate that allows us to take into account the evolving needs of this generation of incarcerated women,” NJDOC Acting Commissioner Victoria L. Kuhn said in an announcement about the hiring of Carter.

This article was published by The Center Square and is republished here with permission. Click here to view the original.

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