NYC Jail Guards Hired Despite Arrests

A yearlong probe into the practices of the New York Department of Corrections found that dozens of applicants with criminal records, gang ties, and other red flags were hired on as jail guards at Rikers Island, according to a report released Thursday from the city’s Department of Investigation. The report found 79 hires who admitted to having friends or family members as inmates, 10 who had been arrested more than once, and 12 who had been rejected by the NYPD for reasons including psychological issues and failure of a drug test. Rikers has come under scrutiny for chronic problems of violence and corruption, which Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters said is related to the character and qualifications of the employees. “Unless you have consistently qualified correction officers, solving the other problems we care about is an almost insurmountable task,” he said.