A two-year federal investigation released Monday reveals a “pervasive” and “deep-seated culture of violence” throughout the adolescent facilities of Rikers Island, the nation’s second largest jail. “Adolescent” refers to those ages 16 to 18. The island’s three adolescent facilities house about 500 teens daily, most of whom, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, “have not yet been convicted of crime, and about half of whom have been diagnosed with a mental illness.”
The 79-page report is extraordinary in its description of the brutality levied at these inmates–by others and corrections officers–and the lengths to which officials went to cover up their beatings or disappear reports of abuse and more. Many young inmates requested solitary confinement for their own protection.
Two wardens in charge of the above facilities during the period under inquiry were recently promoted within the Department of Corrections, according to today’s Daily News.
Read the full federal report, available at The New York Times.