The newly-appointed city correction commissioner is cracking down on staff assaults and is seeking faster arrests for a wide range of violations, while Rikers Island continues to shake with chaos, The Post has learned.
The updated approach was described in a note Wednesday night from DOC Department Chief Kenneth Stukes to all department commanders – and ordered them to send comprehensive reports of inmates’ offenses “in a timely manner” to the Correctional Intelligence Bureau to eventually seek prosecution.
Violations of prisoners covered by the new directive range from serious offenses such as stabbings, beatings and assaults – to inmates spitting on or spraying staff.
Wednesday’s note signals a shift in how staff assaults and violations of prisoners will be dealt with under Commissioner Louis Molina, who was hired to head the troubled department in December under Mayor Eric Adams.
While remanding detainees for crimes committed in custody has “always” been prosecuted in the ward, it has generally only been sought for more serious offenses, a 10-year veteran of the jail said at The Post.
“I have only seen arrests for serious injuries and large amounts of drugs,” the source said.
“Small things like the destruction of property, the discovery of contraband or dangerous instruments, I have never seen an inmate arrested for. It is a consistent incident and difficult to keep up with to treat the inmate for re-arrest.”
Patrick Ferraiuolo, president of the Correction Captains’ Association, agreed.
“Every time someone was spit on or even had drugs thrown at them, arrests did not take place, because if that happened, half of Rikers Island would be arrested again on a regular basis,” Ferraiuolo said.
He theorized that Wednesday’s memo was sent out, in part to boost morale and show officers that assaults will be taken more seriously as the department continues to struggle with an ongoing staff crisis that has led to the conditions of hell.
“I think [Molina] just trying to really support the staff by sending a message saying that if any of these offenses happen to you, we will move to arrest the inmate, ”the union president said.
The prison house insider was unsure if the protocol would change things, but said “it’s a step in the right direction.”
“The workload is really overwhelming for everyone and there will be many arrests,” the source added.
The DOC did not respond to a request for comment.