Rikers Island Employees Report Uptick In Assaults On Staff; Inmate Representatives Say They’re Being Denied Basic Rights – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The situations at Rikers Island are actually being described as a humanitarian disaster.

Workers say a significant staffing scarcity and an inflow of violent offenders is resulting in extra assaults on employees, and representatives of inmates say they’re being denied primary rights.

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“We’ve by no means seen violence like this earlier than,” nurse Alicia Butler mentioned.

After 20 years as a nurse on Rikers Island, Butler is out recuperating after she was assaulted by an inmate.

“They’ve full reign. They’ve taken management over the power … We’re pleading for outdoor assist. It’s actually an emergency,” she mentioned.

By telephone, Dr. Frank Proscia instructed CBS2 inmates’ medical appointments are being delayed, resulting in frustration.

“In July, one in every of our physician members had a shank put as much as his throat,” he mentioned.

They are saying every inmate is escorted by a correction officer, however the officers’ union says they’re coping with their very own onslaught of assaults.

Metropolis numbers present assaults on employees at Rikers are up virtually 25%.

The federal monitor final week wrote to a federal choose, saying, “Extreme and unchecked employees absences has led to different officers having to work double and triple shifts, additional compromising the protection of the Services.”

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They added that this yr, there have been 4 presumed in-custody suicides, the deterioration of primary safety protocols and the denial of primary companies.

“Judges are setting bail on instances the place bail shouldn’t be set. The result’s overcrowding at Rikers Island,” mentioned Brent Low, employees lawyer for Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem.

The Division of Correction says the variety of officers absent with out official depart elevated 300% from final summer time.

CBS2’s Lisa Rozner took the problem to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“This case, from what I’m listening to, may be very pressing, so what are you able to do proper now?” she requested.

“We’ve lowered absenteeism radically via that course of already and extra to return. So we’re going to have extra officers the place we want them, after we want them. Any obligations that we will shift off officers to civilians or others we’ll,” de Blasio mentioned.

Correction officers get limitless sick time, however their union disputes any allegation that that point is being abused.

The union president instructed CBS2 partly, “If there’s any protest occurring, it’s Mayor de Blasio’s continued refusal to rent the two,000 Correction Officers that we have to finish our staffing disaster.”

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The town says 400 officers are being employed within the fall. The DOC is holding a press convention on the scenario Thursday.

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2021/09/01/rikers-island-conditions-staff-assaulted-inmates-basic-rights/ | Rikers Island Workers Report Uptick In Assaults On Employees; Inmate Representatives Say They’re Being Denied Fundamental Rights – CBS New York

Huynh Nguyen

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