A Department of Health and Mental Hygiene investigation into the Rikers Island jail complex has uncovered dozens of cases of alleged prisoner assault in New York. An exhaustive investigation into prison records, current and former inmate interviews, and medical records from the jail and surrounding hospitals found that 129 inmates reportedly suffered “serious” injuries at the hands of corrections officers and other lockup staff.
These 129 inmates were injured so severely that the medical center at the jail was not able to treat them. These seriously injured individuals had to be transported off-site to mainstream hospitals and emergency rooms because their wounds were too extensive or life-threatening to be treated inside.
Former inmates have related stories of excessive force for seemingly minor violations including “beatings” and blows to the face and head (which are deemed a “last resort” in jail policy handbooks). Even worse, when the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene interviewed 80 of the 129, they found that 80% of them had been struck at least once after being handcuffed.
In one account, instead of offering medical assistance to a man who attempted suicide, corrections officers handcuffed the inmate, threw him to the floor, and struck him repeatedly and so hard he suffered a perforated bowel. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition and had to undergo immediate emergency surgery to save his life. In another case, an inmate was allegedly chained to a gurney so he couldn’t move then beaten by multiple corrections officers while at least one commanded him to stop “resisting.”
If you have been the victim of excessive force at the hands of corrections officers while at Rikers Island, contact a New York City prisoner assault attorney immediately to discuss your case confidentially. You could be entitled to monetary compensations for your injuries, pain and suffering, and for the violation of your Civil Rights. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.