⚫ NJ corrections officer admits to not reporting inmate beatings

⚫ Prison assaults described as ‘fight club’ setting

⚫ Fellow officer was sentenced to prison last year

A corrections officer has admitted to failing to stop brutal beatings of inmates at a South Jersey prison, which involved at least one other corrections officer.

Joshua Hand on Monday pleaded guilty in Camden federal court to depriving two inmates of their civil rights — specifically, the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

The 34-year-old Millville resident was formerly an officer at Bayside State Prison in Leesburg.


Hand ‘arm’s reach’ from NJ prisoner being beaten, did nothing

Both incidents outlined in court happened on the same day in December 2019, as Hand was inside officers’ quarters, within the kitchen area of Bayside State Prison.

Hand watched as an inmate was called to the room and then beaten to the ground, being kicked and punched by multiple other inmates.

Later that same day, Hand was in “arm’s reach” but did nothing as a second victim was hit with a broomstick, wielded by another corrections officer.

Hand did not report either assault to his supervisors or medical personnel.

NJ prison officer admits 'cruel and unusual' brutal beat-downs

Hand worked with fellow Bayside Prison corrections officer, John Makos, according to paperwork filed in his case.

John Makos, also of Millville, pleaded guilty in November 2022 to violating the civil rights of inmates.

During his own court proceedings, Makos said he and others agreed to physically assault victims in retaliation “for actual and perceived violations of the prison’s rules and customs.”

Several former prisoners did file a lawsuit against Makos — as previously reported by NJ.com, at least one of whom described the brutal setting as a prison “fight club.”

NJ corrections officer admits to civil rights violations of inmates Bayside State Prison in Cumberland County, NJ (Google Maps)
Bayside State Prison in Cumberland County, NJ (Google Maps)

Assaults took place while the inmates were under Makos’ supervision, in areas of the prison’s kitchen that were blind spots in the prison’s surveillance camera system.


In some cases, victims at the Leesburg prison were physically restrained while being assaulted, according to federal court papers.

In May 2023, Makos was sentenced to 30 months in prison, as well as three years of supervised release and was fined $10,000.

When sentenced in July, Hand faces up to a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, as well as a hefty fine.

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