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Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement to reform a facility in New Jersey where it claims authorities failed to protect prisoners from sexual abuse from staff, in violation of the Constitution.

The big picture: If approved by a federal judge, the proposed settlement would require the state of New Jersey and its corrections department to reform the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women near the town of Clinton to protect its prisoners and hold staff accountable for sexual misconduct.

  • The settlement would also appoint an independent monitor to oversee if New Jersey is complying with the reforms.

What they're saying: “Every prisoner deserves to be safe from sexual assault and other forms of sexual abuse by staff, and to be protected from retaliation for reporting abuse,” said Kristen Clarke, head of the Justice Department's civil rights division, in a statement.

  • “Our agreement addresses the systemic issues that have plagued the Edna Mahan facility, ensures that women incarcerated there will receive the basic protections they are entitled to under the Constitution, and requires accountability through public transparency," Clarke added.

Go deeper

Oct 5, 2021 - World

Over 200,000 children sexually abused by French clergy, report finds

Photo: Philippe Lissac/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

An independent commission said Tuesday that more than 200,000 minors have been sexually abused by Roman Catholic clergy members in France since 1950, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The report by Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church, which was established at the request of the Catholic Church, comes amid a nationwide reckoning with sexual abuse in France.

Rahm Emanuel questioned on murder of Laquan McDonald in confirmation hearing

Rahm Emanuel during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Oct. 20. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke about the murder of Laquan McDonald during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to become the U.S. ambassador to Japan, saying that "there's not a day or a week that has gone by in the last seven years I haven't thought about this."

Catch up quick: McDonald was a Black teenager who was fatally shot 16 times by Chicago police during Emanuel's tenure as the city's mayor. The 2014 shooting triggered massive protests, both because of its nature and the fact that the officers' body-cam footage was concealed for years.

3 hours ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.