At The Perecman Firm, we believe in civil rights for all. Regardless of whether a person is living in their homes or in federal prison, they deserve the decency to be treated with respect and dignity. Our attorney, David Perecman, seeks more information on Rikers prisoners. The Associated Press’ new report reveals that almost one third of the inmates who said they were injured claimed they sustained their injuries from a guard. The report asserts that the prisoners suffered a blow to the head, also known as a “head shot.”
While the law allows wardens to use the appropriate amount of force to contain prisoners and to control unruly conduct, they are not allowed to use excessive force with the intent to injure. The head shot is a last resort allotted to guards, something that should be used with caution.
The Associated Press found that an average of three inmates a day were treated for visible injuries caused by correction officers. Statistics show that there was 8,557 verified injuries at Rikers, between 2012 and 2013. Of that number, 28% were caused by blows to the head, and 1,257 injuries were caused by a guard or correction officer.
Because head shots can be dangers, wardens are supposed to try different tactics first. They should start with issuing verbal warnings, using pepper spray, and grasping the inmate themselves. Serious head shot injuries include cheekbone and nose fractures and cuts to the eyes, lips, and face.
In order to hold correction officers accountable and to maintain proper prison conduct, the City Department of Correction proposed installing 2,000 security cameras. Cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited by the eighth amendment. As such, inmates should not have unnecessary force used against them. If you have been a victim of excessive force, contact our New York civil rights attorneys today.