NEW YORK—After 19 inmates died at Rikers Island in the past year and a half, a hearing Tuesday will determine what changes are needed or if the federal government needs to take over the troubled prison.
But Correction Officers Benevolent Association President Benny Boscio Jr. said federal receivership is not the answer, and the city’s correction officers should be tasked with the job.
“But the reality is we’re the ones more capable of doing the job as New York City correction officers,” he said. “We have the experience and know-how.”
This isn’t the first time the feds have threatened to take over Rikers Island. The site has been plagued by staffing shortages and unsuccessful policies from previous administrations, Boscio said. After former Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to shutter the site, the prison issues worsened, he added.
Boscio believes Mayor Eric Adams and Commissioner Louis Molina should be given time to make the necessary changes. However, the city has been vague about its plans for the prison.
“If you want us to fix the problem, give us the resources we need,” Boscio said.
Watch the full interview in the video player above.