For decades, the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Hunterdon county – New Jersey’s only facility for women – has seen its fair share of struggles, challenges and complex issues. In 2021, after failing to provide a safe environment where women could rehabilitate their lives and reenter society, Governor Phil Murphy ordered the prison closed – a sad ending for an institution whose namesake, Edna Mahan, was a corrections official who believed in the worth of all individuals.
Now, change underway at many levels at the Edna Mahan facility, as plans have commenced for building a new, centrally-located prison for women in New Jersey. Late last month, the Department of Corrections took a step forward by moving incarcerated women with minimum security status into an interim facility just five miles away at former William H. Fauver Youth Correctional Facility, now known as the Edna satellite campus.
The satellite facility has been aesthetically updated with paint, furniture and rugs. Additionally, there is a classroom, chapel, rooms for counseling and program spaces for parenting, reentry skills, education, mental health support, substance abuse assistance and more – all resources designed specifically for individuals to discover new potential and restore a sense of dignity and purpose upon return to society post-incarceration.
Although still years off, the new Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women will be “purpose built” to include “rooms specially designed for family visits, reentry planning, vocational training and long-term care for older inmates.” The hope is that this new facility will reinvent the ideals of its Mahan legacy for the 21st century – encouraging an easier, more successful transition for individuals exiting the criminal justice system and reentering society.
Read more about the interim Edna satellite campus and plans for the new facility here: https://www.njspotlightnews.org/special-report/nj-interim-edna-mahan-facility-prison-new-prison-still-years-off/
Read more about the history of the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women here: https://www.njspotlightnews.org/special-report/edna-mahan-nj-only-womens-prison-history/