An applicant for correction officer job at New York City jails had friends who were gang members. Another had been arrested four times and had been fired from a job as a security guard for stealing from the business he was supposedly guarding. Another was found psychologically unfit to be a correction officer but was hired anyway. The New York Times says that despite such red flags, each of these applicants became a correction officer, along with dozens of other people with questionable backgrounds, including those with gang affiliations, criminal histories and significant psychological problems, says a new report by the city's Department of Investigation.
Reviewing applications of 153 people the Correction Department recently hired, investigators found that more than one-third had problems that either should have disqualified them or needed more scrutiny. Ten had been arrested more than once, and 12 had been rejected by the New York Police Department, six of them for “psychological reasons”, among other issues. Additionally, 79 had relatives or friends who were current or former inmates, a potential security threat. The Times says the findings underscore the dysfunction at the Rikers Island jail complex and help explain how a culture of violence and corruption has come to flourish there.