The Justice Department is suing New York City and Rikers Island for ongoing abuses against (Black) teens incarcerated there.
I worked on Rikers Island for 3 years, in the prison infirmary and I saw first hand abuses, physical and psychological torture. I once overheard Corrections Officers joking about turning high powered hoses on inmates as they were locked in their cells. Inmates were set up for beatings, rapes, and even killings by COs, and the COs often fomented inmate violence and abuse for their own amusement and to sustain the “divide and conquer” climate that kept them in power.
I know this report is of no surprise to most Black people, I have friends and family in and out of the prisons all over this nation; hell I just got a call from a childhood friend locked up in Oklahoma and he tells the same stories.
What’s telling about the abuses on Rikers Island however is that over 80% of the Corrections Offices in that prison are Black men and women, it’s Black COs committing these atrocities!
The Rikers report should demonstrate the folly of calling for more Black cops, Black Corrections Officers, or even more Black politicians in this system! Ultimately, the institution will fulfill its mission and purpose regardless of who holds positions and titles within those institutions.
Integration will not bring Liberation, putting a Black face on the Systems and Institutions of Oppression is not the solution, we need to dismantle those institution, that’s the only path to real justice.