Violent Language Begets Violent Acts in NJ Prisions

Bill Beren
Published: 06/14/2021

Two of the suggested reforms for the Edna Mahan Prison listed in your June 13th story are that “cell EXTRACTIONS need outside monitors” and that “the rules for PULLING prisoners from their cells should be written down.” Is it any wonder that corrections officers engage in violent behavior when the actions they are being asked to perform are couched in such violent terms?

The only logical adjective that fits with extraction is “forcible extraction.” Do prisoners really need to be “forcibly extracted” or “pulled from their cells” in order to perform cell checks and other routine corrections activities? Modifying the description of official actions should be the first step in changing the culture of violence in our prisons. Maybe if the Department of Corrections assigns monitors and writes rules for when prisoners are “escorted” from their cells, their officers would act accordingly.

Topics: Department of CorrectionsEdna Mahan Correctional FacilityJail Reform