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The Call Blog: Department of Correction Adds To Ranks, Faces Transition Under New Mayor

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Have something to tell us at The Call? Drop us a line at thecall@ny1.com and we'll post it to our blog.



We've done dozens of shows about the DOH, DOE and DOT. We've talked for hours about the NYPD and the TLC. But we've never dedicated the program to the DOC. I guess New Yorkers noticed. One of the officers said on tonight's program that the DOC is the forgotten agency.



After four months of academy training, 342 officers joined the ranks of the New York City Department of Correction today. Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed the rookie officers to the job at a ceremony in Brooklyn, the final one for outgoing Commissioner Dora Schriro. Mayor Bloomberg's appointee is leaving to lead the Department of Emergency Services in Connecticut.

Like many city agencies, DOC employees are working without a contract and will face a transition under new leadership. Officers oversee an inmate population that fluctuates between 12,000 and 17,000 daily. During Mayor Bloomberg's mayoralty, the City’s incarceration rate fell 36 percent, while the national incarceration rate grew three percent.

What improvements would you make to the way the City handles inmates? If you've had any experience with correction officers, what's it been like? Do workers deserve raises and retroactive pay? What is the legacy of Commissioner Schriro, who led the agency since 2009?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



If the new mayor is sincere in repairing the damaged morale that the two previous commissioners have so viciously desecrated, he should truly start by investigating the hundreds of Correction Officers who have been victimized by their own Department, along with the aide of New York City's Office of Administrative Trial & Hearings, and see how so many hardworking officers were unfairly suspended; modified; & terminated, and see to it that this unjust cycle is no longer allowed to continue victimize any further.

Charles
Jamaica, NY



I am a member of NYC Jails Action Coalition and we have made the Dept Of correction rethink their use of solitary in the place of treatment for the mentally ill. I met with President Seabrook and he agrees his men and woman not properly trained to deal with the mentally ill. I support his efforts personally, to have the public respect the job of correction officers. They deserve their high salaries and pensions.

Allan
Midwood



Police officers correctional officers and judges shouldn't involve their personal feelings when dealing with inmates or the public. Keep it professional . I heard horror stories of police officer and correctional officers taunting individuals that where arrested/detained . nobody knows anybody's story. Just keep it professional. They are labeled as ny's finest they should carry themselves like it. They get paid to deal with the bs they should be professional enough to not stoop down to inmates level.

Skyler
jackson heights



If they get retro pay, then the NYC Dept of Education sure as HELL BETTER GET ONE TOO!

Jeanette
New Rochelle



Hi John;

I do believe there needs to be some back pay and wage increases.

Ted
LES



Hi John,

So now this is yet another agency department that has to negotiate their salaries for raises and once again they are entitle to their back pay. It is their money. I remind everyone that Bloomberg was the one against anyone getting their back pay but they did bail our the city in a time of need. It was on Bloomberg’s watch that many of the agencies helped him out. How did he manage to walk away after his tenure with so much more wealth than he already had possession of. He surely wasn’t looking out for us. Seems to me that we have a continuation of going down the same road with this new administration. It’s also ironic that Bloomberg’s name is in the picture in that his percentage of people being incarcerated is at a much lower rate than nationally. I have never realized the count of people being handled on a daily basis by the DOC employees. Just amazing.

Thank you John,
maxxiee
mp



There are plenty of bad CO's just like there are bad individuals in every agency (for example sleeping with cop killers, running weapons, drugs, and other contraband into the prisons). There are also plenty of great Correction Officers.

However, I feel sorry for the 342 new officers..they have no idea what they are in for; I think being a corrections officer is one of the worst jobs in this City.

The legacy of Schiro is that she bought ice cream for the inmates (with the idea that they would behave better) and she sat back as C.O."s were assaulted by inmates and she did not re-arrest the inmates in a timely manner. Norman Seabrook can give you the exact statistics.

The way to control the prison population is for liberal judges to sentence offenders to maximum prison sentences with no parole. .

The C.O.'s definitely deserve a raise. Anyone who doesn't think they do should visit Riker's Island to see what corrections officers are dealing with...it will scare the hell our of any law-abiding citizen.

Kate
midtown east



John,

I don't believe the statistics indicating a decline in inmate population. But one thing that could be done to reduce the number of inmates is to legalize marijuana and other drugs. We should be free to imbibe, ingest or inhale whatever we wish.

Joe
Port Richmond, SI



Hi John

I've never been arrested or in jail, all city workers do deserve raises and retroactive pay. The DOC do need to treat the inmates with respect even though they did bad things they're still human beings. I hope under Commisoner Bratton's watch the NYPD will treat the people they arrest with respect too.

Herman
upper west side



I currently have a loved one incarcerated at Rikers Island. If the Correction Officers treat them the way they treat the visitors, than they deserve retraining not retroactive pay or raises. In fact, I think some should be taken down from their post. They walk around looking and acting miserable and take it out on the inmates families. I've seen how they yell and scream at women who are simply mothers, daughters, sisters , etc there to see their loved ones. And I've heard how they yell at the male inmates, treating them like dogs and boys, like they are less than men. They are so busy scrutinizing us, meanwhile they are the main reason why drugs are in the system to begin with. They bring them in for the inmates. I have no respect for their uniform because they don’t know to garner the public trust.

HEATHER, FROM STATEN ISLAND

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