Yet another guard at New Jersey’s all-women’s Edna Mahan Correctional Facility has been charged with several counts of sexual assault—the latest in a string of alleged abusers who have been caught in recent months.
Ronald Coleman Jr., 39, was arrested at his home last week on over a dozen misconduct and sexual assault charges, and he’s not alone—in 2017, five of the facility’s male corrections officers were indicted on more than two dozen charges stemming from the sexual abuse of eight inmates. According to MyCentralNewJersey.com:
The investigation revealed that Coleman, while employed as a senior correction officer, allegedly engaged in a sexual relationship with three inmates that were incarcerated at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in Union Township. Coleman has been employed as a Correction Officer since September 2000.
In December, an investigation by New Jersey Advance Media found that inmates at Edna Mahan had suffered abuse by guards stretching back to 2008, prompting the state’s attorney general to launch an investigation. That same month, two more inmates filed lawsuits in state Superior Court, saying they were “forced into sexual acts with a number of corrections officers,” two of whom were already charged in cases involving other incarcerated women at the facility.
Studies have found that sexual victimization is higher at women’s facilities compared to those that house men. More than 21 percent of female inmates said they have experienced sexual violence from other inmates, and 7.6 reported that they were assaulted by staff.