Over an 11-month period last year, 129 inmates [at Rikers] suffered “serious injuries” — ones beyond the capacity of doctors at the jail’s clinics to treat — in altercations with correction department staff members.
The report cataloged in exacting detail the severity of injuries suffered by inmates: fractures, wounds requiring stitches, head injuries and the like. But it also explored who the victims were. Most significantly, 77 percent of the seriously injured inmates had received a mental illness diagnosis.
In 80 percent of the cases, inmates reported being beaten after they were handcuffed… In five of the 129 cases, the beatings followed suicide attempts.
None of the officers involved in the 129 cases have been prosecuted at this point, according to information from the Bronx district attorney’s office. None have been brought up on formal administrative charges in connection to the cases so far either.
You got young enlisted guys, 18-to-22 years old — they’ve suddenly been thrust into a situation with extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all of your private records,” Snowden said. “Now, in the course of their daily work, they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sort of necessary sense, for example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation, but they’re extremely attractive.
So what do they do, they turn around in their chair and show their coworker. And their coworker says, “Oh, hey, that’s great. Send that to Bill down the way.” And then Bill sends it to George, George sends it to Tom. Sooner or later, this person’s whole life has been seen by all of these other people. It’s never reported, nobody ever knows about it because the auditing of these systems is very weak. The fact that your private images, records of your private lives, records of your intimate moments have been taken from your private communications stream, from the intended recipient, and given to the government without any specific authorization, without any specific need, is in itself a violation of your rights? Why is that in a government database?
Men who are progressive, profeminist, or allies to women — we have to constantly check ourselves. We have to be open and listen to women and sometimes respond by taking a backseat and not encroaching on female space in ways that are kind of natural to us. It’s so integrated into who we are as men: to take center stage, to lead, to be out front, to not really understand the power dynamic that’s at play. I think it’s really important for all of us men who are progressive and who are working to eradicate sexism and all the other social ills out there to be a lot more cognizant of our presence in these circles and spaces.