By Office of New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal

On Thursday, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced criminal charges against three suspended correctional police officers for their alleged roles in an incident in which inmates were assaulted and seriously injured at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in the early morning on Jan. 12.

The charges were filed in an ongoing investigation by the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, conducted with the assistance of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) Special Investigations Division.

Grewal announced the charges during a virtual press conference with OPIA Director Thomas Eicher and Acting Hunterdon County Prosecutor Michael J. Williams.

“Edna Mahan has a long, ugly history— one that has justifiably attracted scrutiny from county, state, and federal investigators,” said Attorney General Grewal. “That’s why we must do more than simply figure out what went wrong on January 11. We must hold the responsible parties accountable, and we must fix the systemic failures that made this incident possible. I’m committed to using the full resources of my office, and with the assistance of the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, we will tackle this problem head on.”

“Our investigation into this egregious incident is active and ongoing, and we anticipate additional criminal charges,” said OPIA Director Thomas Eicher. “We will follow the facts wherever they lead us to ensure that everyone who participated in this alleged abuse of authority and brutal attack is held accountable. We urge anyone with information to call us at 1-844-OPIA-TIPS.”

“Correctional police officers are entrusted with great authority over the inmates in their custody, which can lead to great harm if they maliciously abuse that authority, as alleged here,” said Acting Prosecutor Williams. “We won’t tolerate such conduct. We’re working diligently to identify all who took part in these alleged crimes and make sure they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Between approximately 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 11 and 1:15 a.m. on Jan. 12, DOC officers and supervisors assigned to the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility (EMCF) in Clinton, N.J., conducted forced cell extractions of inmates located in the Restorative Housing Unit (RHU) complex where 21 inmates were housed. One of the correctional police officers involved in the forced cell extractions was Luis Garcia, and two of the supervisors who were involved in and oversaw them were Sgt. Amir Bethea and Sgt. Anthony Valvano.

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