The New York Police Department is sending 100 officers to work in city courts to allow more corrections officers to help relieve the crisis situation on the Rikers Island jail complex.
The complex, which is made up of 10 jails, has experienced a surge in inmate violence and deaths in 2021. So far this year, 11 inmates have passed away, including five by suicide. On top of that, the facility is suffering extreme staffing shortages resulting in entire units of inmates being left unguarded, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Since last week, over 2,600 corrections officers were out on sick leave or medically modified duty adding to the shortage, the outlet reported.
Mayor Bill de Blasio clarified on Monday that the NYPD officers will be sent to courts across the five boroughs to work during arraignment hearings, which is something the department already does in Brooklyn courts.
In addition, the City is planning on sending an unspecified number of private security officers to help at Rikers as well.
“It’s going to provide a lot of relief and a lot of ability for Commissioner Schiraldi to get officers where he needs them most, speed things up at Rikers and improve the conditions,” de Blasio told reporters.
Gaps left the personnel transfer will be made up with NYPD overtime, de Blasio added.