A federal prosecutor is accusing Rikers Island of subjecting adolescents to a culture of violence.
“There is a pattern and practice of conduct at Rikers that violates the constitutional rights of adolescent inmates,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “We are talking about a culture problem and a systemic problem.”
Bharara said inmates are beaten and put in solitary confinement as a form of punishment. He claimed beatings are routine and accountability is rare.
“Rikers Island is a broken institution for adolescents,” Bharara said. “And a broken institution will produce broken people, especially when they are young and fragile with mental illness, as so many of them are.”
Bharara has offered a series of recommendations to correct the behavior.
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