New Jersey Juvenile Correction Officer Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Inmate

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TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced that an inactive correctional police officer for the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) pleaded guilty today to a criminal charge for using unjustified force and breaking the wrist of a male resident at the JJC Juvenile Medium Security Facility in Bordentown, N.J.

Lt. Edward Day, 52, of Paulsboro, N.J.—who worked as a correctional police officer at the JJC Juvenile Medium Security Facility, but who currently is inactive and pending retirement—pleaded guilty today to an accusation charging him with third-degree aggravated assault before Superior Court Judge Philip Haines in Burlington County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Day be sentenced to a term of probation conditioned upon him serving up to 364 days in the county jail. He must forfeit his state position and will be permanently barred from public office or employment. Sentencing for Day is scheduled for April 13.

Day was charged as the result of an investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) Corruption Bureau and JJC’s Office of Investigations.

“This guilty plea reflects our resolve to hold law enforcement officers accountable if they use unjustified and excessive force against civilians,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “No one is above the law, and all people are entitled to the law’s protections, including those in state custody.”

“We will not tolerate correctional officers who wrongfully assault and harm persons in custody,” said OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher. “We will fully investigate and prosecute any officers who abuse their authority in this manner.”

On Oct. 25, 2020, Lt. Day and other correctional police officers were escorting a 16-year-old juvenile resident from his room to another location in the facility, with his arms handcuffed behind his back, when Day, without apparent cause or justification, grabbed the victim’s ankle from behind, pulled his leg back, and pushed him face forward onto the ground. Day then grabbed hold of the juvenile’s handcuffed wrists and twisted and broke one of them.

Deputy Attorney General Brian Uzdavinis prosecuted the case, under the supervision of OPIA Corruption Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione. Acting Attorney General Platkin thanked JJC’s Office of Investigations for assisting in the investigation.