Rikers Island Inmates Assault Correction Officers, Prompting Concerns Over Safety

Two correction officers at Rikers Island were brutally assaulted by inmates in separate attacks on Monday, resulting in severe injuries to their faces and hands. The first incident occurred around 1 p.m. inside the George R. Vierno Center, where an officer attempted to intervene in a gang fight involving approximately 10 inmates. Despite using pepper spray, the officer was struck by a flying food pan lid, causing a deep gash on his left hand. A response team eventually arrived, separated the inmates, and escorted them away.

In the second attack, which took place at approximately 6:15 p.m. in the Robert N. Davoren Complex, a female correction officer was punched in the face by an inmate named Tymirh Bey-Foster. Despite deploying pepper spray, the officer was knocked unconscious by the assailant’s punch. Other officers swiftly intervened, spraying Bey-Foster and several other inmates with more pepper spray before restraining them. The female officer suffered multiple facial and sinus fractures, as well as a cut under her eye.

These incidents add to the growing number of assaults on correction officers, with union officials reporting 150 attacks since December 20, 2023. The alarming statistics include 59 slashings, 36 stabbings, 39 spitting incidents, 110 liquid splashings, and five sexual assaults. Additionally, 108 serious injuries have been inflicted upon inmates during this period.

Concerns are mounting as a city ban on the use of solitary confinement as punishment for the most violent offenders is set to take effect in June. Mayor Eric Adams previously vetoed the controversial bill, citing increased hazards for both inmates and staff. However, the City Council overrode the veto, leading to the impending ban. Under the new law, guards will only be able to isolate violent inmates for a maximum of four hours, with the imprisoned individuals having access to the same programming as other inmates for 14 hours a day.

Rikers Island has faced ongoing scrutiny regarding its solitary confinement practices, particularly following the tragic suicide of former inmate Kalief Browder in 2015. The city had already ceased using solitary for juvenile inmates as part of reform efforts. However, union officials argue that the ban on 23-hour lockdowns has emboldened inmates to assault correction officers with minimal consequences.

Union President Benny Boscio called for consecutive sentences for assaultive inmates and urged the City Council to repeal the legislation immediately to safeguard the lives of everyone within the jail system.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. It is disheartening to hear about the brutal assaults on correction officers at Rikers Island. This highlights the urgent need for improved safety measures within correctional facilities. One potential solution could be the implementation of advanced surveillance technology.

    By utilizing state-of-the-art surveillance systems, including high-definition cameras and facial recognition software, correctional facilities can enhance their ability to monitor inmate behavior and identify potential threats. These technologies can help detect unusual patterns or signs of aggression, allowing officers to intervene before an assault occurs.

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