Home>Highlight>Vainieri Huttle contacted Corrections about Bethea, but they never responded

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood)

Vainieri Huttle contacted Corrections about Bethea, but they never responded

By David Wildstein, February 09 2021 11:03 am

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood) said she reached out to the Department of Corrections in August about corrections officer Amir Bethea, who charged last week in the growing scandal at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility.

Vainieri Huttle told the New Jersey Globe that Corrections received her complaint but never followed up.

“Apparently, no action was taken,” Vainieri Huttle said.

Bethea was one of three prison guards charged in an incident last month where a woman inmate was pepper-sprayed and punched 28 times while huddling in the corner of her cell.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal allege that Bethea was the leader of that incident.

“The history of abuse at Edna Mahan is systemic, but what happened a few weeks ago might have been prevented if the Department of Corrections had acted and properly investigated Sgt. Bethea.”

Despite the recent charges – and a 2020 a U.S. Department of Justice report stated that sexual and physical abuse at the prison was a out of control – Commissioner of Corrections Marcus Hicks remains in his post.

“I am once again calling for Corrections Commissioner Hicks to be put on leave or to resign,” Vainieri Huttle said.  “New Jersey must get serious about fixing the toxic culture of abuse and mistreatment in our corrections system. Prisoners are still people, everyone deserves to be treated humanely and with dignity. The Department of Corrections must take its role seriously in properly vetting and investigating officers.”

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