Prosecutors: Corrections officer beat, humiliated inmates

John Makos, 41, a Millville resident who works at Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, was charged with conspiracy to deprive the inmates of their civil rights.

Associated Press

Oct 2, 2021, 1:38 PM

Updated 926 days ago

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A corrections officer at a state prison in southern New Jersey was arrested Friday on charges he beat and humiliated inmates without provocation or justification, according to federal prosecutors.
John Makos, 41, a Millville resident who works at Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, was charged with conspiracy to deprive the inmates of their civil rights and was due to make his initial court appearance Friday afternoon. He has been suspended from his job, and it wasn’t known if he has retained an attorney.
From April through December 2019, prosecutors said Makos conspired with others at the prison to assault and punish certain inmates in a cruel and arbitrary manner by using excessive force that caused physical injury and pain to the victims.
Prosecutors said Makos and at least one other corrections officer established an ad hoc regime of physical punishments for actual and perceived violations of the prison’s rules and customs and meted out the punishments in a cruel and degrading manner, at times with the assistance of other inmates. Certain prisoners were singled out for brutal beatings, humiliation and assaults that only ended when the prisoner was close to passing out, according to a criminal complaint.
In what was known to inmates as the “fence treatment,” prosecutors said Makos handcuffed a prisoner to a fence in the back area of the prison’s kitchen and the other arm to a swinging door, so the inmate would appear to be crucified.
In a bid to make sure the abuse wasn’t reported, prosecutors said Makos and at least one other officer told the inmates they would lose their highly valued kitchen jobs and the money they were making if they spoke out.


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