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The NJ Attorney General's Office released video of alleged abuse of inmates taken by corrections officers inside Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton, NJ. NorthJersey.com

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TRENTON – A former Hunterdon County assistant prosecutor has been named assistant commissioner of the state Department of Corrections' Special Investigations Division (SID).

Kelly Daniels, who has prosecuted cases of abuse at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women, will supervise the SID, which oversees investigations into violations of state laws, departmental policies and procedures by inmates, employees and individuals who visit state correctional facilities. 

One of Daniels' goals will be establishing a Special Victim's Unit (SVU) to investigate sexual harassment, abuse and violations of the Prison Rape Elimination Act within the state correctional facilities.

“The SVU is a mission-critical component of the Special Investigations Division,” Victoria Kuhn, the newly appointed commissioner of the Department of Corrections, said in a statement. “We are confident that the department, under the guidance of Assistant Commissioner Daniels and the SID team will establish a Special Victims Unit that sets the highest of standards to be utilized as a model by others.”

READ: Phil Murphy names new corrections chief to lead agency after abuse scandal

Kuhn praised Daniels' record as a prosecutor.

"Ms. Daniels is a respected leader in her field," Kuhn continued. "She brings to the Department of Corrections a wealth of experience as a prosecutor, litigator and well-regarded figure in the criminal law field. Ms. Daniels has significant experience to help both shape the department’s cultural shift and overall mission, as a prosecutor and investigator into the abuses at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women."

“It is an honor to be part of the energy and resources that are now focused on prison reform in the State of New Jersey,” Daniels said in a statement. “In my former capacity as an assistant prosecutor, I worked closely with the SID for the past several years undertaking joint investigations. I welcome the opportunity to now be part of the Department of Corrections to continue that work, and to help solve any issues that challenge the department’s mission to maintain safe facilities and the respect and dignity for all those involved.”

Daniels graduated from Rutgers Law School.

Email: mdeak@mycentraljersey.com

Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. To get unlimited access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

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