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Correction officers injured in latest fight at Bronx juvenile detention center

Officers have sustained injuries in two fights since teen inmates were moved from Rikers.

All 16- and 17-year-olds at Rikers Island have

All 16- and 17-year-olds at Rikers Island have been moved to Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx. Photo Credit: Administration for Children's Services

More than a dozen correction officers were injured during the weekend after another fight broke out inside the Horizon Juvenile Center, according to the officers' union. 

This was the second time a large fight injured several correction officers at once inside the center since 16- and 17-year-old inmates were moved there from Rikers.

On Sunday, 16 officers and two captains were injured, including one who suffered a possible broken nose, after a fight between 13 inmates in the mess hall, according to the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association (COBA). 

Last week, 20 officers were injured in the school area of the Bronx center, just days after 93 minors were moved there in time for the implementation of the Raise the Age legislation. 

"This population of inmates at Horizon is the same population at Rikers who are responsible for the majority of the violence throughout the department," COBA President Elias Husamudeen said in a statement. "Why would we expect them to behave any differently now?"

The union has blamed the correction officers' inability to use pepper spray — unlike at Rikers — as a reason fights are turning so violent.

A spokeswoman for the Administration for Children's Services, which operates the facility, said in a statement: "The incident involving youth and officers was quickly addressed. None of the injuries were serious, but we take this and all incidents seriously."

The city's Department of Correction commissioner, Cynthia Brann, said in a statement that officers "have repeatedly put themselves in harm’s way to break up a number of fights and I want to commend them on their professionalism and commitment to this important reform. Our officers’ health and safety remain our top priority, and we always encourage them to have any and all possible injuries checked out by medical professionals to ensure their well-being."

The age of juvenile delinquency was raised to 17 throughout New York on Oct.1. It will be raised again to 18 on Oct. 1, 2019, according to the governor’s office. Newly arrested 16-year-olds will be housed at the city’s other juvenile detention center, Crossroads, in Brooklyn, according to ACS.

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