New York

Rikers reports call 2021 the “most dangerous year” as prison violence intensifies.

Detainees attacked a city prison officer who fell asleep after working in two shifts. Eleven Rikers men were involved in a gangster battle after the doors of two housing units were left unsafe. Prison officers killed detainees with racial slurs and pepper sprays.

These are just a few examples from a “system full of violence and disorder,” according to the latest report by a federal monitor that oversees the Corrections Bureau.

“Data on the use of force, combat, puncture wounds, slashing, and assaults on staff in detention shows that 2021 was the most dangerous year since the monitors began monitoring local blockades in 2015. Shows ” 152-page report found.

The report is about or nothing to improve the situation on Rikers Island, where the mandated oversight in a courtroom led by Austin-based monitor Steve Martin has fallen into a new level of turmoil in recent months. It claims that it did not exist.

Elizabeth Glazer, director of the mayor’s Criminal Judiciary Bureau from 2014 to 2020, recently said City Federal recipients with urgent authority to make unilateral decisions should take over the department.

Governor Kathy Hochul and others after touring Rikers Island in September as local elected officials surged behind the bar. President Joe Biden Intervene.

Looking for insights

In his twelfth report since 2015, Martin emphasized the importance of looking beyond rigorous statistics.

“Just because you can quantify something doesn’t mean it helps you understand or assess your progress,” he said. “The secret is to provide real insights into the department’s processes and results, and to identify metrics that help with problem-solving tasks.”

For example, in a department Use of the 2015 Compulsory DirectiveAccording to Martin’s latest dispatch, banning head strikes is working to curb the assault of officers against detainees.

Prison officers will screen visitors on Rikers Island on July 1, 2021.
Ben Fractenberg / THE CITY

This report primarily covers the first six months of 2021, when prison supervisors struggled to get officers to work. Last summer, about 1,600 officers called illness, and another 100 did not appear on a particular day.

Some of the reasons the report cites a shortage of staff include the COVID-19 pandemic and unlimited sick leave for officers. The report also cited “insufficient” monitoring to verify that someone could not work legally and “lack of accountability” for staff who abused vacation policies.

Martin’s oversight team hired an “independent expert on orthodontic staff” to analyze how and where officers are located.

The Correctional Officer Charity Association argued that the city should hire an additional 2,000 officers, bringing the total system to about 10,000. As of Monday, about 5,434 people had been imprisoned.

However, Martin and former prison ministers point out that hundreds of officers are assigned to administrative tasks such as data entry, secretarial support, time management, social welfare, and analytics.

“There are so many staff members in this department’s salary, many of whom are considered incapacitated or assigned to non-managerial positions,” the report said.

Swing first

In terms of violence, also known as Martin-Nunez Monitor, named after the plaintiff’s chief. Original class proceedings That spurred the surveillance agreement — city prison officers said they used batons as crutches too often.

He admitted that so-called use of force by police officers “occurs in essentially all prisons” to protect both personnel and imprisoned individuals “from serious harm.”

“But in this department, the use of force is an almost natural conclusion to deal with the problem, so it occurs frequently and there is no necessary attempt to solve the situation without relying on physical force.” Said the report.

Advocate of prison reform during a rally outside Rikers Island on September 13, 2021.

Advocate of prison reform during a rally outside Rikers Island on September 13, 2021.
Ben Fractenberg / THE CITY

According to the report, recent power utilization was more than tripled in 2016. According to Martin, this rate rose from 3.96 per 100 detainees six years ago to 12.56 in the first six months of 2021.

“The sector is at stake,” the federal monitor wrote. “The key foundations of effective leadership are proper oversight and accountability. At this point, both are significantly lacking.”

The Legal Assistance Association said the report “supports” what the people behind the prison say to staff every day. , Director of the Group Prisoner Rights Project.

Staff under attack

Monitor’s report focused primarily on the first half of the year, but also noted that there were 2,113 detainee assaults on personnel between January and September 2021.

“This is equivalent to assaulting staff about eight times a day in 273 days,” the report said, adding that the risk of an attack is “terrifying and stressful for staff.” ..

Still, according to Martin’s dispatch, some of the assaults were “generated by the actions of unjust and / or hard-working staff who unnecessarily escalated encounters.”

Inciting behavior includes “inappropriate use of racial slurs or provocative / blasphemous language, suspicious applications. [pepper] Sprays, and overly aggressive behavior that is not proportional to the actual threat posed by the individual. ”

According to the report, some of the assaults on the officers also occurred when the officers tried to detain the prisoners.

In response to the report, the City Corrections Bureau promoted more recent data showing improvements.

According to Shayla Mulzac, over the past five months, from July to November, the rate of use of force by orthodontic staff has decreased by 11%, the fighting rate among imprisoned people has decreased by 19%, and the rate of assault on staff has decreased by 12%. It has decreased. A spokesman for the Correctional Bureau.

“We have not declared victory by any means,” DOC Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said in a statement. “But our hope is that these positive numbers are early indicators of a positive trend that can be built to create a better future for staff and imprisoned people.”

Rikers reports call 2021 the “most dangerous year” as prison violence intensifies.

Source link Rikers reports call 2021 the “most dangerous year” as prison violence intensifies.

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