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Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women (formerly, the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women) is a prison facility for women of the state of New Jersey Department of Corrections, located in Union Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, near Clinton. Its official abbreviation is EMCFW. The facility was named for Edna Mahan (b. 1900, pronounced Mann), one of the first female correctional superintendents in the U.S.
The current administrator is William Hauck; he has served in that position for 4 years. As of February 2009, the prison holds 950 inmates in maximum, medium and minimum security sections.
According to the New Jersey Department of Corrections, Edna Mahan "provides custody and treatment programs for female offenders ages 16 and older. The facility features the Puppies Behind Bars program , in which inmates train guide dogs for the blind, among other unique ventures. EMCFW has a drug and alcohol treatment unit as well as Bureau of State Use Industries shops specializing in clothing and tele-response/data entry."
On November 2, 1979, Assata Shakur, in prison serving a life sentence for the 1973 murder of a New Jersey State Trooper, escaped from the facility, after three members of the Black Liberation Army drew .45-caliber automatic pistols. Two officers were taken hostage as part of the escape and were released unharmed. Charged with assisting in her escape was her brother, Mutulu Shakur, and Silvia Baraldini. In part for his role in the event, Mutulu was named on July 23, 1982 as the 380th addition to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, where he remained for the next four years until his capture in 1986.
A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of male correctional officers alleging that the policy of only employing female officers was discriminatory. In 1991, the state entered into a consent agreement allowing male correctional officers to work at Edna Mahan.
The addition of male officers resulted in problems leading to additional legal action. Officers were disciplined, fired, or criminally prosecuted for offenses including exchanging sexual favors for gifts or money. One officer, Lt. Ralph Grier, was sentenced to five years for paying an inmate $30 to pose for nude photographs.
Another officer, James Gallichio, was charged with second-degree misconduct and sexual assault in 2008 after an unidentified inmate told investigators that she and Gallichio had a "mutual sexual relationship" inside the prison, according to a probable cause affidavit. Court papers state Gallichio got a cell phone so that the inmate could call him "numerous times throughout the day" from her cottage, or unit, inside the facility. In all, police said they captured 894 phone calls between the two from November 2007 to March 2008. Because the conversations were done over a recorded line, investigators said they heard the pair professing their love for one another and also taped Gallichio mentioning that he brought the inmate a "wand" that "tells you something," according to court papers. The inmate said Gallichio had brought the "wand," a code name for a pregnancy test, because she thought she was pregnant, according to investigators. Gallichio was later arrested for an armed robbery at a filling station in East Brunswick, New Jersey and is currently serving a twelve-year prison sentence.
The 2004 documentary Freedom Road by Lorna A. Johnson, depicting the lives of three inmates, was filmed at Edna Mahan. Another documentary, Going Home, was also shot at Edna Mahan and based on Steven Kalafer's observation of the Life Skills Academy program.