A spokesman for New Jersey’s U.S. attorney’s office had no comment.
Leaders of the union representing Essex County jail staff said that county officials and administrators ignored repeated warnings that their facility was becoming more violent.
According to Lodge 106 documents, paramedics and emergency medical technicians were called to jail 169 times between January- June to treat officers or detainees. This is an increase of the 99 times in the same period last years, according to the union, Fraternal Order Of Police.
William Sullivan, president and chief executive of the Police Benevolent Association Local 105, a separate union that represents 6,000 New Jersey correctional officers, said violence and resignations have increased in state prisons. Mr. Sullivan estimates that approximately 450 officers resign each day and that the pipeline to train new guards has slowed dramatically.
“You’re seeing a lot more people leave sooner,” he said.
The Essex County Jail, a low-hung, green-sided facility, is located in Newark’s industrial area. After years of protests from activists, county leaders decided this year to end the holding of undocumented immigrants awaiting their court hearings at Essex County jail. This was the end of a lucrative, many-year-long contract with U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The lockup has held an average of 2,199 detainees each month over the last year, roughly 240 people fewer than the facility’s legal capacity, county officials said.
Most people in New Jersey’s jails are awaiting trial and presumed innocent, or have been sentenced to terms less than a year. The county administrators run the facilities. Some have closed down operations after the decline in detainees. New Jersey effectively eliminated cash bail. This allowed most people to wait in court at home and not in jail.
As part of a cost-saving initiative, Union County — where Mr. Boyd lives and where he was charged with two altercations involving family members — has been paying Essex County to hold its detainees since July. (The Union County jail population has dropped 67 per cent in the past 10 years. The county estimates that it will save $103 million by closing down its majority of its jail operations over the next five years.
Source: NY Times