By: Tracie Carter
A corrections officer at Bayside State Prison Friday admitted agreeing with others to assault inmates for actual, perceived physical, and fabricated violations of the Prison’s rules and customs in a manner that resulted in injury to the inmates, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Federal officials said John Makos, 42, of Millville, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Karen M. Williams in Camden federal court to an information charging him with conspiring with others to deprive inmates of their right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.
The following are the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From April 2019 through December 2019, while working as a corrections officer, Makos conspired with others at Bayside State Prison to assault and punish certain inmates cruelly and arbitrarily by using excessive force that caused physical injury and pain to the victims.
Makos and others agreed to physically assault victims for actual and perceived violations of the Prison’s rules and customs, which on occasion resulted in the inmates suffering bodily injury.
These assaults occurred while the inmates were under Makos’ supervision and in areas of the Prison’s kitchen that were out of sight of institutional surveillance cameras.
For example, on December 7, 2019, Makos watched and did not attempt to intervene when multiple inmates pinned a victim to the floor and, while the inmates restrained the victim, punched the victim approximately 25 times.
Makos did not report this assault to his supervisors or medical personnel, despite knowing he was required to do so.
Conspiring to violate the civil rights of others carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in Prison and a maximum potential fine of the greater of $250,000, twice the gross amount of financial gain that any person derived from the offense or twice the gross amount of financial loss that any person suffered from the offense, whichever is greatest. Sentencing is scheduled for March 23, 2022.