A corrections officer in South Jersey is becoming an inmate after being sentenced for violating the civil rights of those under his watch at Bayside State Prison.

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On Wednesday, 42-year-old John Makos of Millville, who previously pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to deprive inmates of their right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, was sentenced to 30 months behind bars.

Federal officials say from at least April through December 2019, while working as a corrections officer, "Makos and others at Bayside State Prison agreed to physically assault certain victim-inmates..."

Bayside State Prison in Leesburg NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Bayside State Prison in Leesburg NJ - Photo: Google Maps

The assaults, which injured the inmates, took place while the they were under Makos' supervision and in areas of the prison's kitchen that were out of sight of surveillance cameras.

For example, on Dec. 7, 2019, Makos watched and did not attempt to intervene when multiple inmates pinned a victim-inmate to the floor and, while the inmates restrained the victim-inmate, punched the victim-inmate approximately 25 times. Makos did not report this assault to his supervisors or medical personnel, despite knowing he was required to do so.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement,

This sentencing demonstrates that correctional officers who abuse their authority and violate the civil rights of inmates under their custody and control will be held accountable for their actions. The Justice Department is committed to protecting the civil rights of all people, including those held inside our jails and prisons.

In addition to the prison sentence, Makos will be under three years of supervised release and was fined $10,000.

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