Rikers Island treatment addressed in legislation

Bharara says there is a code of silence

Bharara says there is a code of silence among many at Rikers Island, including correction officers. (Credit: News 12)

THE BRONX - City Council members hope legislation announced Monday will end the practice of solitary confinement on Rikers Island.

The proposal would require a quarterly report detailing the number of people who've been placed in solitary, their ages and the reasons for their confinement.

The announcement comes two weeks after a scathing report from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara concerning adolescent inmates at Rikers Island. The report states that corrections officers beat inmates with blows to the head. The report also says beatings were sometimes carried out in areas where there were no security cameras.

Bharara said there is a code of silence surrounding the issue and that the problem has not yet been addressed.

Department of Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte has only been in his post since April, but says he is committed to making jails safer. He says he will rewrite the use of force policy and add more security cameras to the facility.

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