On April 17, witnesses at EMCF reported seeing Gibson repeatedly punch Reed in the head, resulting in a scene of bloodshed and chaos. Reed, who sustained injuries including a broken nose and two black eyes, was subsequently taken to Hunterdon Medical Center for medical treatment before being transferred to the on-site hospital unit at Edna Mahan.
Reed revealed that she had been subjected to weeks of sexual harassment by Gibson leading up to the assault. She reported an incident where Gibson exposed himself to her and immediately informed prison officials. However, no action was taken, leaving Reed feeling unsafe and uncomfortable in her own environment.
The alarming aspect of this case is that Reed claims she was attacked simply because she refused Gibson's advances. Shockingly, Reed found herself penalized for defending herself against her assailant, resulting in both her and Gibson being placed in a 90-day lockup, isolated from other inmates. This has raised questions about the prison's handling of the situation and the lack of support for victims of sexual harassment and assault.
Another anonymous female inmate, identified as Pamela, voiced her outrage at the situation, highlighting the influx of transgender-identified male transfers into EMCF. Pamela shared her disbelief at the presence of these individuals, many of whom still retain male anatomy and have criminal convictions for violence against women. She described the recent events as "unimaginable" and stressed the need for public awareness of the impact on incarcerated women, emphasizing that their voices have largely been ignored.
The case also sheds light on the policy that allowed these transfers to occur. In 2019, the New Jersey Department of Corrections settled an ACLU lawsuit requiring the state to permit violent male inmates to self-identify as female and be housed in Edna Mahan. However, revelations have emerged regarding the backgrounds of some of these transfers, including a convicted sadistic murderer and an individual investigated for attempted illicit weapon sales.
The situation at EMCF has ignited a heated debate surrounding gender identity policies and the safety of women in prison. Critics argue that women should not be subjected to potential risks posed by male-bodied individuals, and that women's concerns have been sidelined in favor of accommodating the demands of male inmates.
The alarming allegations made by Shakira Reed and the overall climate at EMCF highlight the urgent need for a comprehensive examination of policies regarding the housing and safety of incarcerated women. The welfare and protection of women should be at the forefront of any decisions made, ensuring a secure environment where their rights and well-being are prioritized.
As this story continues to unfold, public attention and scrutiny will undoubtedly grow, calling for accountability and meaningful changes to prevent further incidents of violence and harassment within women's correctional facilities.