TRENTON, N.J. – A group of bipartisan legislators have agreed to support articles of impeachment put forth by Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield and prime sponsored by Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Nancy Munoz. The resolution charges Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks with constitutional violations for failing to protect inmates at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility.
“The women at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility have been silenced for far too long while enduring unspeakable pain and suffering at the hands of corrections officers who were sworn to protect them,” Stanfield said (R-Burlington). “The women leaders of New Jersey will not back down on this issue until Commissioner Hicks is gone and new leadership can begin the healing that this administration has spectacularly failed at.”
“Prisoners are still people. We as a state must take a leadership role in ensuring dignity and safety for everyone, including those who are incarcerated. We have called for the resignation of Commissioner Hicks and this resolution aims to bring accountability to the DOC. Regardless, reforms are still sorely needed to address the systemic abuse within our system,” Huttle said (D-Bergen).
Joining Stanfield in support of the articles of impeachment are Assemblywomen Huttle, Munoz, Shanique Speight, Britnee Timberlake, Aura Dunn, Holly Schepisi, BettyLou DeCroce, Serena DiMaso, DiAnne Gove, and Senators Kristin Corrado and Sandra Cunningham.
“I’m extremely proud and grateful to be included with this group of women leaders who want to stand up for justice and see change happen now. I am confident more legislators will get behind this once they’ve had the chance to see the resolution,” Stanfield said.
The articles of impeachment state Commissioner Hicks failed to take reasonable measures to protect inmates from sexual abuse, considered cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and that he is responsible for violating the inmates’ civil rights and the public’s trust, among other things.
“Women have been sexually assaulted and beaten within an inch of their lives, and prison guards have been charged and convicted on multiple occasions for the crimes they committed at the correctional facility. We’ve already seen prior investigations detailing the atrocities at Edna Mahan. It’s time to act. We cannot wait for this administration to conduct another investigation before he’s ready to make the right decision,” Stanfield said.