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Police & Fire

NJ corrections officer beaten at Avenel facility for sex offenders

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

ONLY ON CVP: A state corrections officer was badly beaten by a group of residents at the state’s prison for sex offenders in Avenel — the second attack on an officer at a state Corrections facility in less than two weeks.

The incident comes amid protests by state corrections officers about staffing cuts at certain high-security facilities, and follows an incident in which an officer was slashed earlier this month at the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Wrightstown.

Last week, two inmates were indicted by a state grand jury on charges of assaulting a pair of corrections officers, sending both to the hospital, at the Mountainview Correctional Facility in Clinton Township in November 2011.

In this weekend’s incident, Officer Marcyves Maurice, an 11-year department veteran, was rescued by fellow officers after he was set upon by several offenders at the Avenel Diagnostic and Treatment Center.

“This was a planned multiple resident assault on Officer Maurice by a group of civilly committed sexual predators,” a colleague told CLIFFVIEW PILOT, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The colleague said such attacks are the direct result of “collapsible posts” at ADTC, which he said went into effect in January and leave certain areas below the minimum number of officers required for safe security.

A state Department of Corrections spokesman confirmed that the incident occurred at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Maurice (inset, above), who wasn’t identified by name, “ended up going to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Rahway,” Matt Schuman, the spokesman, told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning.

He has since been discharged, Schuman said.

Schuman said he couldn’t go into detail about the incident, or about the officers’ staffing concerns, because an investigation was under way.

He said he couldn’t immediately identify the officer or the residents involved, adding that officials “aren’t going to say much until the investigation is completed.”

Roughly 60 officers had a “blue out,” calling out sick on April 20, over what they said are dangerous staff reductions at basic posts, in addition to cuts in overtime.

The 36-year-old Maurice — a large, imposing presence and popular among colleagues — began his DOC career at Mountainview before being transferred to ADTC.

Operated jointly by the New Jersey Department of Corrections and the Department of Human Services, ADTC houses roughly 700 offenders who have been committed there — either after they’ve served prison sentences or instead of — for rape and other sexual assaults on adults and children.

The objective is to provide treatment, education and vocational studies, with the possibility of reintegrating them into society at some point.

Some have their commitments renewed by judges and either die or spend dozens of years in state custody there.

Although security is high, they are referred to as “residents” and not inmates.

The DOC handles security and the Department of Human Services supervises treatment services.

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