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New Jersey Commissioner of Corrections Marcus Hicks in 2018. (Photo: Mark C. Olsen.)

Three months later, still no timeline for Boxer probe

By Nikita Biryukov, April 26 2021 3:26 pm

There’s still no timeline for the completion of former State Comptroller Matt Boxer’s investigation nearly three months after Gov. Phil Murphy announced the independent probe into abuses at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility.

“Nothing new on the Boxer question,” the governor said at Monday’s virus briefing.

Murphy announced the Boxer probe on Jan. 27, not long after reports of widespread suspensions at the state’s only women’s prison over a series of inmate beatings that have already seen eight guards, including three supervisors, criminally charged.

When he announced the independent investigation, Murphy said the probe would be conducted in an expedited manner, though state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s ongoing criminal investigation has proven a barrier to Boxer’s inquest, the governor has said.

The Assembly Judiciary and Women and Children Committees held a hearing on the alleged abuses at the facility earlier this month that featured Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks and Corrections Ombudsman Dan DiBenedetti, who announced he would resign in August after a poor showing before the joint panel.

Hicks remains in his post despite calls from his resignation from a broad and bipartisan group of lawmakers that includes most every member of the State Senate.

Murphy has so far stood by the corrections commissioner, deferring action until the release of the Boxer report.

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