The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Maria Archuleta, ACLU national, (212) 519-7808 or 549-2666;
Allison Peltzman, ACLU of New Jersey, (973) 642-2086 x 11

Corrections Department Returns Women Held In New Jersey Men's Prison To Women's Prison After ACLU Lawsuit


months after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit
challenging the transfer of women prisoners from Edna Mahan
Correctional Facility, the state's prison for women, to New Jersey
State Prison (NJSP), a men's supermax prison, the Department of
Corrections (DOC) has transferred the women back to the women's prison.

The ACLU and the ACLU of New Jersey
filed the lawsuit in December 2007 challenging the DOC's transfer of a
group of women prisoners to NJSP where women were held in lockdown
conditions, denied basic movement in the prison, deprived of access to
the prison law library and the prison school, barred from the prison's
main yard and denied access to basic hygiene. In July, the New Jersey
Superior Court stopped the DOC from moving more women to the men's
prison and also granted the women's request to pursue their claims as a
class action.

The following can be attributed to Ed Barocas, Legal Director of the ACLU of New Jersey:

"This is a victory for those women
who suffered grossly unfair treatment and who wished to return to the
women's prison. But this fight is not over. Indeed, a number of women
have raised concerns about returning to Edna Mahan, which is often far
from their families and has problematic conditions of its own."

The following can be attributed to ACLU Women's Rights Project staff attorney Mie Lewis:

"We and many community members have
asked the DOC for a viable plan to house women prisoners and meet their
needs, but they have not produced one. We will therefore continue to
keep an eye on women incarcerated in New Jersey and will challenge
unconstitutional conditions and arbitrary transfers."

More information on the case, Jones v. Hayman, including statements from women prisoners is available online at:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666