The Village Voice has obtained disturbing images from inside sources in New York City’s jail system that show inmates with knife wounds and beating injuries to the face, neck and arms. Documents obtained show Correction Department employees may be pitting inmates against each other to “keep order.”
The Correction Department launched a major investigation in 2008 after teen inmates beat 18-year-old Christopher Robinson to death as guards looked the other way. Documents obtained include inmate interview transcripts that show guards were deputizing inmates, often in the teen jail, and pitting them against one another in fights as a way to keep order and extort them for phone, food, and television privileges.
Several sources, told the Village Voice, that the practice is very much still in place, which is backed up by hundreds of internal Correction Department documents obtained by the Voice.
(Just a warning, link below includes graphic images.)
Correction sources lay the blame for the increase in violence at the feet of Commissioner Dora Schriro and Security Deputy Chief Carmine LaBruzzo. Schriro is out of touch, they claim, and LaBruzzo is misleading her about the extent of the violence.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights has been investigating violence on Rikers. Correction sources say federal investigators have subpoenaed more than a year’s worth of incident reports in the effort. The federal prosecutors office in Manhattan declined to comment.
The Village Voice first wrote about the violence at Rikers four years ago and found jails officials not only condoned but also promoted a disturbing “fight club” that pitted inmates against one another.