New Jersey Prisoner Report (Prison Watch Community Oversight Initiative, CLASP)
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PRISONINITIALDATETESTIMONYISSUES
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East Jersey State PrisonS.5/12/16“Refusal of food services personnel to implement medical orders, of long standing, that govern a special kosher diet.”Nutritional Deprivation

Medical Care

Free Exercise of Religion
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K.10/14/16“The infrastructure of the prison is terrible... There is mold… It literally rains inside whenever it is raining outside. Some cells have broken windows, which presents an obvious problem in the winter.”Conditions of Confinement: Physical Environment

Health
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“The law library is in terrible shape. Currently, there are two working computers, (three are not working). These computers allow access to Lexisnexis software, but you cannot download any cases from the Lexis for use on your personal word processor. Hard copies of cases cost ten cents per page., The computers do not have any word processor program. Paralegals do not readily assist inmates; In fact, paralegals work in an area that is separated from the law library. Basically, Rahway’s Law Library is a self service operation with very limited resources.”Access to the Courts
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Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for WomenJ.10/11/16“I am sick a lot and when you go into the hospital, which is in the max compound, they strip search you. Sometimes you are being strip searched with other women, I find this very upsetting.”Conditions of Confinement: Lack of Privacy
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10/14/16“They took another guard out of here in handcuffs the other day for having a sexual relationship with a prisoner. In this case, unlike other cases, the woman wanted to see him.”Sexual Abuse

Prison Rape Elimination Act [PREA] Violation
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New Jersey State PrisonI.09/12/16"My legal mail has been opened out of my presence over forty times in three years. I have had three separate officers touch me in an inappropriate way during a search three times.”Mail Tampering

Access to the Courts

Violation of Court Rulings and Department Rules

Sexual Abuse

PREA Violation
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J.09/19/16“The prison officials withheld the June issue of Prison Legal News (magazine) from prisoners. According to a source, the magazine contained an article about Double locking in N.J. state Prison.”First Amendment

Access to the Courts
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A.10/14/16“I have become a victim of a number of crimes starting with the total destruction of all of my property… because I got two C.O.’s in trouble… and now I feel that my life’s in danger.”Criminal Offense (unspecified)

Unjustified Destruction of Property Without Compensation

First Amendment

Retaliation
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J.10/25/16"Call from Involuntary Protective Custody Unit. Reports struggling with the isolation. Also reported that a number of people from southern prisons are requesting a change in status to protective custody in order to be moved closer to family. Once it is determined that they do not need PC, they are placed in Involuntary PC, which he is calling torture."Conditions of confinement: Isolation - Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Possible Violation of Department (DOC) Placement Rule
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I.10/27/16“I am experiencing a very nasty chemical mediciny taste in my food. I feel very tired and bad after I eat.”Nutritional Deprivation
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D.10/28/16He reported that his cell had been “tossed” and was very upset. We called the Department and by Sunday (10/31) he had all of his possessions back and e-mailed to thank us and let us know.Violation of Department Rule (Cell Searches)
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A.11/01/16From someone reporting on another prisoner in 2EE, a mental health/special needs unit: "R., who was on constant watch to prevent suicide, was challenged to a fight by a CO. The CO went into his cell and assaulted (him), without provocation."

R was placed on 7 wing, in a disciplinary segregation unit. R was not charged, which is unusual under the circumstance. Prisoners report that assaults by corrections officers are often covered up, by calling a suicide code to justify entering a cell without supervision by a Sgt., assaulting a prisoner and then issuing an assault code to justify the prisoner-victim's injuries., The alleged assault by the prisoner-victim then becomes the basis for a disciplinary charges against the prisoner-victim, who is subject to a kangaroo court hearing, sanctioned, and then placed in a non-mental health solitary confinement cell, without the proper clinician screening required by the Department's regulations.
Violation of Prison Rules

Prisoner Assault

Violation of Rules Governing the Isolation of Prisoners with Mental Illness
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A.11/14/16“Officer Daniel assaulted me by punching me in the face, then I fell to the metal bed frame and assumed the fetal position to protect myself...I’m constantly in pain.”

“The walls (of the cell) have dried spit, blood, and feces on them...”
Assault

Medical Care
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S.11/08/16Custody/SID has demonstrated a lack of respect and abuse of power. Placing this inmate on involuntary protective custody because of hearsay is unconstitutional.Internal Investigation and Placement Hearing Deficiencies
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Northern State PrisonE.08/23/16“We were forced to lie, face first, in shorts, short sleeved shirts and skin contacting the hot blacktop, nothing short of torture. All the while, I heard staff standing around us laughing...Being forced to lay on the hot blacktop, literally burning, with gravel penetrating our skin...This behavior violates the very premise of the eighth amendment prohibitions to the U.S. Constitution.”Cruel and Unusual Punishment
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E.09/06/16“I submitted a remedy referencing my complaint. I however did not get any response.”

“This is the norm here.”
Conditions of Confinement

Violation of DOC Grievance Regulations
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B.10/02/16“Not only have I been a victim of retaliation, and denial of communication; I have suffered from conditions such as being naked in a supervision unit/suicide watch cell with no mattress or sheets and blanket, 24 hour video surveillance, no toilet paper, no utensils for food, 24 hour lighting in a 24 hour air conditioned cell.”Conditions of Confinement - Isolation

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

No Touch Torture (Solitary Confinement)
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B. and T.11/03/16"Thick black mold has accumulated in the cell, and the bunk structures are rusty...The mold in the cell was painted over, instead of removed...Rain still comes into the cell, primarily drenching the bottom bunk."

The men are not being allowed access to the unit kiosk to communicate with people outside the prison. B. and T. have tried to gain relief from this situation by speaking to the area Sgts. and the ombudsman, without response (yet). We have contacted the ombudsman about their situation. They are only allowed to submit grievances every 6 days (if the kiosks works).
Conditions of Confinement - Physical Environment

Deficient Grievance System
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W.11/08/16W. has served his 30 year sentence and is now being held without explanation. He was recently beaten by one or more guards and is now in the infirmary. We think that the prison is illegally retaining him in custody until his physical injuries from the abuse are less overt.Illegal Detention and Abuse
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W.11/14/16"My mail is constantly intercepted by...Department of Corrections."

"I was sexually assaulted by officers in administrative segregation and assaulted by officers and a Sgt."

"None of my mail or legal mail was getting sent out by Northern State Prison."

"Blacks were not being fed in N.S.P. (Northern State Prison) ad-seg and the Ombudsman at that time that worked ad-seg was pro police so if you wrote up a c.o. She would give it to the c.o. The c.o. would either break all the persons property or call the person out to a medical and take them in a blind spot and beat the inmate bad."

"A guy murdered his cellie after constantly asking to be moved."

"I suffer from seizures and the left side of my body works when it wants to due to a stroke I didn't know that I had until examined by a doctor."

"I watched inmates get stomped out by the police various times in here and most of these nurses and doctors will cover the stuff up."
Human Rights Abuses: Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Access to the Courts

Retaliation
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W.11/14/16"I recently went to lock up for refusing to lock in a cell that is upstairs when I'm bottom bunk only and show[ed] the c.o. my paperwork, I was wearing a helmet and walking with a cane I was still sent to lock up. I have paperwork from a judge stating I am not to be housed in N.S.P. I showed it to classification they said judges don't have say over us."Conditions of Confinement
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South Woods PrisonJ.10/14/16“This spot is the only spot in the state who doesn’t receive a real food package; but instead we can order two subs.”

“This spot is the only spot in the State that we can not take pictures with our family.”
Conditions of Confinement

Family Support
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Southern State PrisonC.10/23/16Quoted from the Bayside and Southern State Correctional Facility Public Notice (05/2016): “The Bayside State Prison Water Treatment Plant is required to monitor Wells 1-5 for volatile Organic Compounds and Inorganic compounds. On February 22, 2016 the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducted a compliance evaluation and assistance inspection. The evaluation found that the facility failed to monitor for Inorganics and Volatile Organic Compounds during the Federal compliance period of 2014-2016.”Environmental Abuse
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Bayside Prison
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Final NotesThe data from this report is provided by the American Friends Service Committee's Prison Watch Community Oversigh Initiative (in collaboration with CLASP). If you have any questions, comments, or would like to add a report, please email me at billimarie.lubiano.robinson@CLASPjustice.com.

Support creative, investigative prison journalism projects like this report. Donate to CLASP at https://www.CLASPjustice.com/donate

Thank you!
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2016