Officers at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex run a scheme dubbed the “World Tour” that uses favored inmates as violent enforcers, a lawsuit alleges. Inmate Jomonni Morris, 19, says he became a victim of the secret scheme after he got into a argument with a corrections officer in 2018, the New York Daily News reports. Trapped in the “World Tour,” he was frequently moved to housing units where staff knew he was vulnerable to attack. Officers allowed inmates to access his cell, swipe his belongings and beat him up, he charges. The “World Tour” allegedly culminated in a vicious slashing by an inmate favored by correction officers.
The suit says the scheme is a revived version of “The Program,” which was broken up by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office in 2008. That secret society involved officers ceding responsibility to hand-picked inmates known as “The Team.” The inmate-enforcers maintained order and extorted victims. The DA’s case resulted in two officers and seven inmates being convicted of the fatal beating of an 18-year-old inmate who refused to submit to “The Program.” Morris has a unique understanding of the “World Tour” because his mother is a former jail officer. “I learned from my son he was put on ‘the World Tour,’ meaning inmates are being deputized by correction officers to control certain inmates. Inmates are being moved from area to area to be preyed upon by these deputies. I found out from former colleagues that ‘the World Tour’ is the new name for ‘the Program,’” said Morris’s mother, Darlene Pounder. Morris remains jailed on Rikers on two charges of attempted murder.