Guards in a unit for teenagers at New York City’s Rikers Island Jail reputedly sent inmates to intimidate, threaten, and silence uncooperative prisoners with brute force, reports the New York Times. Inmates were ordered to turn over money, and their every move was controlled. If word of an assault got out, the guards would allegedly orchestrate a cover-up. Prosecutors said the unit was run much like an organized-crime family – and two correction officers were the bosses. Three corrections officers are on trial in connection with the beating death of an 18-year-old inmate.
Martin Horn, city correction commissioner, said the conduct the officers were accused of was isolated and that the department had taken measures, including installing additional cameras, to ensure the safety of inmates in the aftermath of the death.