Rikers Island

Anthony Behar/Sipa Press

Lawsuit: NYC sends Rikers inmates Upstate to be brutalized

December 30, 2018 - 4:18 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) – The city has a policy forbidding solitary confinement at Rikers for inmates who are under the age of 22, but a new federal lawsuit claims the city is getting around that by shipping dozens of inmates upstate to an Albany County jail, where they’re brutalized.

The suit says the guards in Albany have been dubbed the “Green Team” because they wear paramilitary uniforms and riot gear and tell inmates: “This isn’t Rikers… We do what we want here.”

A complaint filed Friday accuses the city of using jail transfers to punish inmates and circumvent its solitary-confinement rules. The suit alleges the Albany County jail staffers unjustly beat the young men and forcibly conduct rectal searches.

Lawyers say the inmates are seeking unspecified damages and want the court to say the practices are unconstitutional.

The New York Times, which first reported the suit, spoke to city mayoral spokesman Eric Phillips, who said the jail transfers were for the inmates’ own security.