New York City jails recorded a nasty streak of violence in the second half of last year as stabbings, slashings, and assaults on staff all increased dramatically, reports the New York Daily News. Stabbings and slashings increased 67 percent; weapons recovered rose 56 percent; assaults on staff increased 13 percent; and use of force incidents rose 26 percent. Correction Commissioner Martin Horn said July and August were “monster months,” but the department took immediate, aggressive action. The numbers have returned to historically low levels, he said.
“Was it the heat? Was it the blackout?” said Horn, referring to the rise in stabbings and slashings last summer. “Hard to say. But the fact is they’ve come down.” Norman Seabrook, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, doesn’t think Horn “is doing enough” to address the problems. Horn complained that inmates are tearing apart poorly made facilities in the Rikers Island jail to make weapons. “We’ve got a plan out there to knock down large portions of the Rikers Island buildings and replace them with modern, well-built jails in Brooklyn and the Bronx,” he said.