Whoa…It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in Rikers.
The fun began on April 14, when 14 of 17 correction captains staged a one-day sickout to protest a department crackdown following the arrest of an officer for using inmates as enforcers.
Then, on Thursday, authorities announced the arrest of seven correction officers for taking bribes to smuggle contraband into the jail system, suggesting the practice is widespread in the system. Officials are weighing whether to tighten the rules on searching employees who come to work.
The case followed the arrest of a drug treatment counselor for possession of 100 packets of “Black Gold” heroin. The Voice exclusively reported that incident.
And finally, authorities finally caught up with a guy who had somehow smuggled a huge store bought knife, a cellphone and several hundred dollars in cash into jail and managed to hide his stash for a couple of months. It’s unclear whether it came in with him or was given to him while he was incarcerated.
He hid the stuff inside his prosthetic leg. Ouch!
That discovery has sparked an internal investigation into the jail’s security system, sources said. The big question: how did the knife slip unnoticed through the metal detectors?
The sickout at the Robert Davoren Center followed the arrest of Lloyd Nicholson, a guard there, for ordering six inmates to beat up two other inmates for failing to follow rules he described as “the program.”
Correction sources say the captains were upset at a boss for ordering them to closely supervise correction officers on their tours—a practice that is considered routine. The department is investigating the incident for labor rules violations.
The seven officers arrested, meanwhile, worked at four different jails—the Anna M. Kross Center, North Infirmary Command, the George Vierno Center, and RNDC. They allegedly took bribes from undercover investigators to pass marijuana and cocaine to inmates.
So that’s how all that stuff was getting into the system.
A Correction Department spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.