Uhhhh. . . “Secret” Society of Guards Who Sadistically Beat Inmates?
In other “secret” news, the sky is blue.
Three correction officers created a sadistic secret society on a Rikers Island cellblock, ordering prisoners to extort and beat other inmates, prosecutors charged Thursday. Officers Michael McKie, Khalid Nelson and Denise Albright called their fight club "The Program," and the teens they recruited as enforcers were "The Team," officials said.
Understand, we are talking about county jail. Not state prison. The conduct alleged to have occurred by the corrections officers would be unacceptable and criminal and any setting. But pay close attention to this particular setting. County jail is a place where low-level criminals serve a sentence after adjudication and, more importantly, the accused—those people who are presumed innocent—await trial. These are husbands, fathers, sons, daughters and mothers who simply stand accused of crime. To subject these people to such a brutal environment is itself criminal. Unfortunately, it is common. The rights of jail inmates are not exactly push button political issues that instantly garner public support. Despite the most egregious violations seen--from Rikers Island, NY to the Orange County Jail, CA-- in the past year alone, no one seems to care about the plight of the accused. In fact, when a story like this is reported, the emphasis is on a “secret society” of rogue guards who engage in misconduct. It comforts us to think that this is just a few bad apples in a large bunch. It comforts us further to think that the society is actually “secret,” unknown to supervising authorities. The contrary is true. Inmate abuses are open and tacitly encouraged by those in power. Only when caught, do authorities feign outrage and seek to punish the patsies.