Imagine walking into New York City's toughest jails. The place where we incarcerate our most violent gang members and criminals. Now imagine taking away the best tool that Correction Officers have to keep law and order within these jails.
Separating dangerous and violent criminals from the rest of those in custody is a tool used in NYC jails to protect both the incarcerated and Correction Officers alike.
Speaker Corey Johnson and the City Council's proposed legislation to end punitive segregation is endangering the lives of every person who lives and works in our jails. This badly misguided idea is reckless, irresponsible and could end up with someone getting killed.
Read more about Punitive Segregation below and sign our petition to tell Speaker Johnson and the City Council that you do not support ending punitive segregation in NYC's jails.
Perhaps no issue concerning Corrections is more misunderstood by our City Council and the general public than the distinction between Solitary Confinement and Punitive Segregation. Solitary Confinement - as seen on TV or as experienced in "supermax" prison facilities - is nothing like Punitive Segregation as it is used in the NYC DOC. Punitive Segregation is a penalty imposed upon mostly violent inmates after due process hearings for infractions while being held in the DOC's custody.
The New York City Department of Correction is a jail system, not a prison system. The average stay of an inmate incarcerated on Rikers Island is 56 days, not 25 years to life.
Correction Officers are at the front-line protecting inmates and those who work within the jails from violent offenders. In just the past month, a female Corrections Officer was stabbed in the hand. Other Corrections Officers have been punched in the face and one Correction Officer had their nose broken.
Click to see recent injuries sustained by Correction Officers:
Law and Order within NYC jails is getting more violent and more frequent. Meanwhile, Speaker Johnson and City Hall are passing laws that put us further into danger. Well, we have a message for Corey Johnson and the City Hall. Hear that message directly from two of our Correction's Officers on what is on the line with this dangerous law in the video below.
There is a balance between the amount of positive tools available within the jails to assist in rehabilitation and reducing recidivism with tools for promoting discipline and good order within the institution.
Punitive segregation is one of the most non-violent and non-adversarial tools in Corrections for enforcing rules and regulations. In 2014, COBA wrote extensively about the risk of limiting punitive segregation as a tool to control inmate criminal behavior within the penal system. COBA wrote if punitive segregation was limited, "It would significantly increase violent confrontations between correctional personnel and inmates and ensure many more serious injuries on both sides."
In 2016, the Mayor ended punitive segregation for the ages of 18-21 (our most violent offenders) in NYC jails. Sadly, this is exactly what has happened:
Serious injuries from inmate violence up 284 percent in New York City jails, according to DOC reportREAD ARTICLE
NYC jail violence skyrockets, serious injuries among inmates up 284%: reportREAD ARTICLE
Violent incidents in NYC jails on the rise despite drop in inmate population: reportREAD ARTICLE
If you believe that a crime is a crime no matter where it's committed, sign our petition demanding that Speaker Corey Johnson stop putting our lives in jeopardy!
Proudly posted by the New York City Correction Officers' Benevolent Association. Learn more about us at:cobanyc.org