Weeks after a U.S. government report further revealed the rampant brutality against male teenage inmates at the Rikers Island jail complex in New York, a judge’s decision published Monday called for the termination of six correction officers who hog-tied and assaulted an handcuffed inmate, the New York Times reported.
In her decision, administrative law judge Tynia Richard details how a captain and five guards beat inmate Robert Hinton in a solitary confinement cell, leaving Hinton with “multiple blunt trauma to the face,” including a bloodied and broken nose and a fractured vertebra.
Richard added that the six correction officers then tried to cover up the incident, which occurred two and a half years ago. With these revelations, Richard recommended that the six officers be fired.
“I am convinced of the primacy of the deterrence principle in this instance, in hopes that imposing the most severe sanction would deter future misconduct by those who would participate in or stand idly by when such brazen misconduct occurs,” she wrote. “Hopefully, it will help break the vice grip that silence and collusion played in this incident.
In August, the federal government released a 79-page report graphically describing the “deep-seated culture of violence” against adolescent inmates at Rikers, where guards routinely used “unnecessary and excessive force.”
Earlier today, the New York City Correction Department announced that it will stop using solitary confinement as a form of punishment for 16- and 17-year-old inmates by the end of this year, the New York Times reported. Although New York State banned the practice in February, the decision did not apply to Rikers, since it wasn’t state controlled.
In February, the NewsHour aired a report from special correspondent Daffodil Atlan of the Center for Investigative Reporting on the adverse effects that solitary confinement has on young inmates.