Inmates are running wild on Rikers Island amid an ongoing staffing crunch that’s left charges free to stab each other, answer the phones and run through corridors destroying maintenance equipment, The Post has learned.
On Sunday morning, three inmates from the Folk Nation gang jumped a Bloods member and slashed him in the face inside of an unmanned housing area at the Anne M. Kross Center, the jail’s largest facility, internal records obtained by The Post show.
At the time, 26 corrections officers were working quadruple shifts, 35 were on triple shifts and 30 patrol posts across the AMKC were unmanned as the jail grapples with an ongoing staff shortage, internal communications show.
A day earlier at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center, another Rikers facility, a group of inmates ran wild through the corridors and destroyed a slew of fire safety equipment before officers could stop them, according to an internal email seeking “emergency maintenance.”
“Numerous inmates were running through the corridors. They [sic] inmates broke the fire cabinets and numerous exit signs throughout the corridors. They also removed the hoses and nozzles from the cabinets,” the email, sent by an assistant deputy warden, states.
On Monday, the chaos continued, according to Patrick Ferraiuolo, the president of the Correction Captains’ Association.
“One of my captains in AMKC called a housing area and the inmates answered the phone,” Ferraiuolo recounted.
“[The inmate] said ‘Hey how you doing captain? The officer went home, he was tired, he was going into his triple or fourth tour and he left, he left us here alone.’ So it’s a housing area with no correctional officer watching over them… this is an everyday occurrence,” he continued.
For five grueling days, hip-hop artist 2 Milly says he found himself in a fetid, overcrowded bullpen on Rikers Island — and then he was transferred to a quarantine unit that seems worse, where he gets no outdoor time and prisoners are often left unguarded.
“They treat us like we’re animals,” said 2 Milly, whose 2014 track “Milly Rock” has been played more than 25 million times on Spotify, and who is doing Rikers time on a gun charge under his birth name, Terrance Ferguson.
Ferguson, his fellow detainees and correction officers are thrown together in Rikers Island’s summer of hell — a staff shortage during the pandemic that has broken down basic services at the city’s giant prison complex and brought misery to everyone there.
It’s so bad that Ferguson and other Rikers detainees have a grudging sympathy for the officers, who suffer stifling heat amid broken-down air conditioning and not enough rest during too-long work shifts.
“The officers are losing their minds,” Ferguson told the Daily News. “It’s the same guard for 24 hours. They’re sweating bullets, not getting meal breaks. I start feeling bad for them after a while.”
In turn, Rikers officers also offered some sympathy for the detainees’ living conditions. “For the most part, the inmates have been sympathetic,” said a veteran correction officer who asked for anonymity fearing Correction Department reprisals.
“They’ve actually offered me food when I’m working a triple,” the officer said. “The officers recognize the conditions are bad for the inmates and the inmates feel for the officers.”
Another detainee, Herman Williams, 37, convicted of attempted burglary, agreed. “They do them just as bad as us,” he said in a phone interview during which he was watched over by an officer.
“The lady [officer] sitting here right now, [is] sweating to death,” Williams said. “They say no one wants to do nothing.”
DOC officials acknowledged the problems have become more concerning in recent weeks, attributing them to a large volume of sick or unavailable staff. Of 8,500 officers, they said, roughly 3,500 either called in sick in July or were medically exempt from working with detainees. Another 2,300 simply didn’t come in at some point in July.
“We agree with many of the issues raised here,” DOC Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said. “We have been taking extensive measures to encourage staff to return to work, to relieve those who have been heroically working extra shifts to compensate, and to make this an environment where any parent would feel like their own son or daughter was safe working or living here.”
This Schiraldi guy is another willfully oblivious ghoul. Just like the scumbag that hired him