Months after an official in charge of the infamous jail complex at Rikers Island promised reform following a series of inmate abuse cases; the facility is not really safer for people inside. That warning comes from a new report from the federal government which shows an “alarming rate” of excessive force usage in the New York City correctional facility.
Details released in the report include substantiated claims of inmate abuse in New York City including instances of victims being hit in the head while handcuffed, splashed with pepper spray, and smashed into walls. The authors of the federal report also say that the true number of actual incidents may never be known because these cases of excessive force in New York’s largest jail facility often go unreported.
Even when reported the same defenses are routinely raised. A typical defense raised by correction officers when the inmate is severely injured is that the inmate was aggressive and flailing his arms and the correction officer was merely defending him or herself. A typical fractured jaw defense is that the inmate hit his face on the bed frame during the course of the altercation.
The problems at the facility have become so excessive that the Mayor has even publically announced intentions to close it over the next decade.
The Department of Corrections did respond to the allegations by saying that the rates of violence in the juvenile portion of the jail are as low as they’ve been in years. However, that does not absolve them of the legal liability they face in substantiated cases of excessive force and inmate abuse at Rikers Island.
Every person-even an inmate-has the right to be treated humanely. When they’ve been denied that right and are physically abused, the law is on their side. Excessive force lawsuits can result in financial compensation for injuries and emotional trauma.
If you’ve been injured by excessive force while in police or prison custody, contact an experienced New York City inmate abuse lawyer today