NEW YORK (PIX11) — There have been some modest improvements at Rikers Island jail, but violence and solitary confinement continue to be key issues facing the troubled facility, officials said.

The absentee rate — employees out sick– is down to 12% from 28%, but staffing shortage is a concern because many correction officers are pulling double shifts, according to NYC Comptroller Brad Lander.

Slashings and stabbings increased in July but assaults on guards were down, he added.

“There’s still a lot to do here,” Lander said. “We do have to get a handle on that staffing problem for sure.”

Lander was one of many politicians who made a surprise visit to Rikers Monday to inspect the conditions inside the jail to see if there has been any improvement from their visit last year, which was planned.

Lander joined PIX11 Morning News to discuss his visit to the jail.

Watch the full interview in the video player above.