clock menu more-arrow no yes

Department of Correction

Filed under:

Chaotic Inmate-Attack Rikers Training Drill Sends Nonprofit Staffer to ER

A worker with the Osborne Association, which provides inmate services on the island jail, was overcome by pepper spray after a terrifying surprise training drill with a correction officer dressed up as an inmate.

Filed under:

Eric Adams’ New Jail Commissioner Pushes Out Acclaimed Head of Investigations

Commissioner Louis Molina on Monday asked Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Investigation Sarena Townsend to immediately step down. Townsend was lauded by a federal monitor overseeing the department, but unions wanted her gone.

Filed under:

Time’s Up for Reform-Minded NYC Jails Boss Who Clashed With Unions: Sources

Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi took the job running chaotic Rikers Island and other lockups in May hoping he would last beyond the de Blasio administration to see his policy changes through. But Mayor-elect Adams is replacing him.

Filed under:

Rikers Report Calls 2021 ‘Most Dangerous Year’ Amid Escalating Jailhouse Violence

The federal monitor overseeing city jails decried a "system that is rife with violence and disorder" as Rikers Island reels from chaos. It’s the worst year since the overseer was appointed in 2015, according to his latest dispatch.

Filed under:

Hart Island Burials Taken Over By Tree Landscapers, Uprooting Families’ Hopes for Transformation

The city’s potter’s field, the final resting place for thousands killed by COVID and AIDS, is now overseen by the Parks Department amid visions of creating the nation’s largest municipal cemetery. But a $33M contract to a firm without cemetery experience, under the watch of an ex-Rikers captain, is raising concerns.

Filed under:

Adams’ Ties to Lobbying Firm That Represents Jail Workers Raises Questions on Rikers Island Future

The mayoral frontrunner supports closing the troubled jails complex, but has left the door open to changes in the plan. Meanwhile, with Rikers in chaos and correction officers calling in sick, Adams has strong links to a lobbyist paid by their union.

Filed under:

How Can NYC End Rikers Island Chaos? We Asked Four People on the Front Lines

A mother whose son died behind bars, a top jail supervisor, the city’s former head of criminal justice and a recently released detainee weigh in on the crisis — and what can be done amid growing violence and staff absences.

Filed under:

Hear No Evil: De Blasio Visits Rikers But Doesn’t Talk to Detainees or Guards

The mayor took what one critic called a "sugar-coated" tour through the chaos-plagued jail complex Monday — marking his first visit in four years to the "nightmarish" lock-up.

Filed under:

After NYC Jail Officials Ignored Suicide Prevention Plan, Five Detainees Took Their Own Lives

A federal monitor’s latest damning dispatch landed as local members of Congress called on President Biden to stem the chaos at Rikers Island. Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio promised to visit the beleaguered jail for the first time in four years.

Filed under:

New Death Rocks Rikers Island as De Blasio Targets Correction Officers’ Union With Huge Fines

Isaabdul Karim became the 11th detainee to die this year at Rikers, which has been roiled by inhumane conditions as staff outages reach 1,800 a day. The city is suing to make the union pay $1 million for every day of massive absences.

GOT A TIP?

We’re here to listen. Email tips@thecity.nyc or visit our tips page for other ways to share.

Filed under:

Self-Harm Is Exploding In New York City Jails, Internal Numbers Show

Self-harm — including suicides — at Rikers Island and other local lockups spiked last summer as COVID-19 ravaged New York, figures obtained by WNYC/Gothamist and THE CITY show. The rate’s climbed to historic levels in the months since.

Filed under:

Rikers Staffing Crisis Limits Access to Medical Care

With thousands of officers not coming into work, incarcerated people aren’t getting escorted to their medical appointments, a New York Focus investigation finds.

Filed under:

Rikers Detainee Endured ‘Horrible Conditions’ Before Dying in Cell, Jails Overseer Finds

Missing blankets and sheets. No pillows. Limited food and exercise. That’s what a new father jailed on a parole violation stemming from a shoplifting arrest faced before becoming the first of three men to die at Rikers since April.

Filed under:

Tablets for Inmates: New NYC Jails Chief Presents Reform Plan Ahead of Next Mayor

Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi’s "comprehensive post-pandemic recovery" proposal also covers everything from cutting down on triple shifts for correction officers to fixing broken cell doors.

Filed under:

Hundreds of New City Jail Officers for Rikers Put Detainee Advocates on Guard

Rikers Island and other city lockups employ five officers for every three incarcerated people. As some call for a reduction in officers, the City Council okays a budget plan that boosts the ranks by 400.

Bronx Woman Mourns Son Who Died at Rikers as Cellmate Says Help was Slow to Come

Jose Mejia Martinez became the third person jailed on a parole violation to die at the city jail since April. Another detainee told THE CITY a jail officer didn’t immediately get medical help for the ailing man, remembered by his mother as "very caring."

Filed under:

Parole Reform Bill Set to Pass in Albany After Rikers Deaths

Lawmakers announced a deal to overhaul New York’s parole system to limit when parolees could be re-jailed. The move comes days after THE CITY revealed the April deaths of two men sent back to jail for low-level arrests.

Filed under:

Death of Two Men at Rikers — One Held on Shoplifting Rap — Amplifies Push to Overhaul Parole Rules

The deaths of Thomas Braunson and Richard Blake come as lawmakers rush to pass the "Less is More" reform package that would restrict re-jailings on minor charges. But the clock is ticking with the Legislature set to break for summer next week.

Filed under:

City Jails Roiled by ‘Disorder and Chaos,’ Feds Say as Correction Boss Quits

Use of force against inmates at Rikers Island and other local lockups hits five-year high, according to the federal monitor appointed to oversee the troubled system as part of a 2015 class-action lawsuit settlement.

Filed under:

De Blasio Calls for ‘Full Accounting’ of NYC Inmates Who Died of COVID after Testing Positive in Jail

Mayor’s comments followed investigation by Columbia Journalism School and THE CITY that identified three men who died after contracting the virus in Department of Correction custody — but were not counted in the official death toll.