Female correction officers report pervasive sexual harassment and assaults being while on the job at Rikers Island, with the Department of Correction union saying at least 24 employees have been victims of sexual assault by an inmate this year, reports CBS New York. The correction officers union joined city councilmembers outside Rikers Island, detailing what they call pervasive sexual harassment and assault by inmates.
One officer, who said she was the victim of an attempted rape, called for harsher consequences for detainees who commit sexual assault while behind bars. Mayor Bill de Blasio says there’ve been nine arrests in the 24 cases of sexual assault so far this year. Councilmember Adrienne Adams is proposing to amend New York’s criminal code to make the forcible touching of a correction officer a felony. It’s currently a class A misdemeanor. The union is also demanding the DOC keep track of and make public reports of sexual assault and harassment.