NJDOC Announces Next Phase of Construction of New Women’s Correctional Facility

NJDOC Announces Next Phase of Construction of New Women’s Correctional Facility

NJDOC Announces Next Phase of Construction of New Women’s Correctional Facility

A new correctional facility designed specifically for women will be strategically located on existing NJDOC property in Chesterfield Township, Burlington County

TRENTON, New Jersey – The New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) today announced an open request for proposals for design consultations that will be essential to the provision of architectural and engineering services for the development of a new modern correctional facility for women. The release of the scope of work represents a major step in creating a new trauma-informed women’s correctional facility with prescriptive design, centralized services and ample space for programs and equipment.

“This moment marks an important milestone in the development of an improved, safe and secure facility that meets the needs and expectations of a modern correctional facility,” said Commissioner Victoria L. Kuhn, Esq. “The construction of a purpose-built correctional facility will provide prescriptive conditions conducive to rehabilitation, reintegration and improved safety and security for incarcerated women, staff and the community.

Governor Phil Murphy announced the closure of the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility (EMCF) in June 2021, with a promise to transform women’s incarceration in New Jersey and relocate the population to a more central location with better access to main roads, while providing a more conducive environment for rehabilitation. Closing the EMCF is expected to save approximately $166 million in future capital projects and deferred maintenance costs that would otherwise have been necessary to keep the facility functional and ensure its long-term viability.

“With the support of stakeholders and loved ones in corrections and incarcerated people, NJDOC has made monumental strides in improving safety, as well as services and culture for incarcerated women,” said Helena Tomé, deputy commissioner of the NJDOC Women’s Division. Services. “The newly proposed facility will help us advance our mission by promoting a dignified, safe, secure, rehabilitative and gender-responsive environment while promoting community reintegration.

The new purpose-built women’s correctional facility will be strategically located on existing NJDOC property in Chesterfield Township, Burlington County. It will be co-located with the Garden State Correctional Facility, an active correctional facility and adjacent to the former Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility (closed in FY 2020). This location was chosen after a thorough review of existing properties and facilities. The 33-acre property offers a more central location within the state and is close to major highways (including the New Jersey Turnpike) and resources. This location is expected to allow easier access to maximize family reunification and visitation, provide greater staffing resources between multiple facilities, and allow better connection to community resources.

In fiscal year 2024, $90 million was allocated to the Debt Reduction and Prevention Fund to begin the process of developing a new women’s facility. Over the past nine months, the state has created a collaborative, interagency working group to continue moving the project through the planning and construction stages. This task force, which includes critical state partners from the Department of Treasury’s Division of Property Management and Construction (DPMC), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Community Affairs (DCA ) and NJDOC, among others, are working diligently through the many phases of review and planning in preparation for construction.

“We are pleased to see NJDOC and the State of New Jersey reaffirm their commitment to rehabilitation and reentry, honoring the dedication of those who have helped advance this movement,” said Bonnie Kerness, Director of the program of the American Friends Service Committee Prison Watch. . “The Edna Mahan Board of Trustees and the incarcerated people we have worked with over the past several years have confidence in the Department’s valiant efforts. We anticipate that these modern normative frameworks will enable incarcerated women to achieve personal growth and develop dignity and diligence in preparation for their return to their communities.

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About the New Jersey Department of Corrections:

The mission of the New Jersey Department of Corrections is to advance public safety and promote successful reentry into a dignified, safe, secure, rehabilitative, and gender-responsive environment supported by a professional, trained, and diverse, strengthened by community engagement.

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