It’s long past time for new leadership at the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC). Commissioner Marcus Hicks has repeatedly failed to manage our state prison system effectively, putting inmates, staff, and host communities at risk.
We first raised those concerns nearly a year ago when Hicks ignored multiple warnings and advice that could have prevented Covid from entering and spreading unchecked through our prisons. His refusal to listen resulted in major coronavirus outbreaks and an unnecessary loss of life.
Unfortunately, Hicks also didn’t listen when we called for his resignation last year, and Gov. Phil Murphy, unsurprisingly, failed to hold him accountable – just as he has held nobody accountable for Katie Brenan’s accusations or the tragic loss of thousands of lives in our nursing homes.
This month, we heard shocking new stories of the systematic sexual and physical abuse of female inmates at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility, even after the U.S. Justice Department warned of unconstitutional abuses at the prison last year.
Both Republicans and Democrats are now joining me in calling for new leadership at the NJDOC, a bipartisan consensus that there's blood on the hands of Hicks and the Murphy administration. The message is clear - it's time for change.
ED. NOTE: Testa (R-1st) represents New Jersey’s 1st Legislative District.