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Rikers Island in crisis: Infamous jail accidentally frees burglar about to start 20 month sentence just days before TWO THOUSAND out of 8,000 staff called in sick amid dangerous working conditions

 Rikers Island prison staff accidentally released an inmate who was one day into his 20-month sentence just days before nearly 25 per cent of the New York prison's staff called in sick amid dangerous and chaotic working conditions. 

Jason Dauble, 35, walked out of Rikers Island on September 11, a day after being sentenced to two consecutive 10-month sentences for burglarizing three different Staten Island eateries, prison documents state. 

The error was not reported until September 13, and Dauble was arrested on September 14 just two blocks away from the businesses he victimized, the New York Post reports.  

A jailhouse source told the Post that the staffing issue and current chaos at Rikers was what had led to Dauble being released. 

'There's a lot of times the intake staff may not be experienced because of the staff shortages and they're sticking someone there,' said a jailhouse source. 'They don't know what to look for, they don't know the paperwork.' 

Staffing problems at New York's Rikers Island prison allegedly caused staffers to accidentally release a serial burglar last Friday

Staffing problems at New York's Rikers Island prison allegedly caused staffers to accidentally release a serial burglar last Friday

Nearly 2000 of more than 8,000 workers at Rikers took a sick day on Tuesday

Nearly 2000 of more than 8,000 workers at Rikers took a sick day on Tuesday

Dauble was originally charged with 15 counts of burglary, grand larceny, criminal mischief, petite larceny and possession of stolen property. 

He returned to Rikers on the same day nearly 2,000 of more than 8,000 workers took a sick day, leaving dozens of units without officers who monitor and assist inmates, Department of Corrections Chief of Staff Dana Wax said at a New York City Council hearing on Wednesday. 

'Of the 8,370 uniformed members of service, 1,789 of them were out sick yesterday. 112 of those were newly out sick, meaning it was their first day out … 68 staff members were out on a personal emergency, 93 were AWOL, meaning they did not let us know they were not coming in that day,' she said. 

The crackdown took place a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan to address problems at Rikers Island and punish AWOL corrections officers

The crackdown took place a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan to address problems at Rikers Island and punish AWOL corrections officers

DOC Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said last week that more than 1,400 officers were out sick on average in August, which is more than double compared to the same time last year

DOC Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said last week that more than 1,400 officers were out sick on average in August, which is more than double compared to the same time last year

At orders of Mayor Bill de Blasio, The DOC handed out suspensions for 20 of the officers who failed to show up on Tuesday. 

During the hearing on Wednesday, DOC Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi blamed the deteriorating conditions at Rikers on the skyrocketing officer absences.

'This is the direct driver of more dangerous conditions in Rikers, and that is completely unacceptable,' he said.

The commissioner promised to hand out bonuses to the officers who have been showing up for every shift, and even working extra shifts to make up for a lack of staff.

'They are the heroes who have been holding the line during these challenging times,' he said.

Benny Boscio, President of the Correctional Officers Benevolent Association, hit out at de Blasio over the suspensions, blaming the unfolding crisis on a hiring freeze, even as the inmate population at Rikers has doubled.

'More heavy-handed suspensions will only ensure officers continue to work triple and quadruple shifts with no meals and no rest,' Boscio argued.

Boscio slammed de Blasio as a 'dictator' and called on him to resign for punishing overworked officers who have been pulling double and triple shifts in unsafe working conditions, reported Fox Business.

During his daily press conference on Tuesday, the mayor unveiled a five-point plan to address the dire situation at Rikers Island.  


'We understand it's tough work and a tough environment, but folks, not showing up for work is unacceptable,' de Blasio said of the absent corrections officers. 'And when any officer doesn't show up for work, they actually put every other officer in danger, and that's not acceptable. 

Under the mayor's Emergency Rikers Relief Plan, any DOC officer who calls out sick for more than a day will have to undergo a medical evaluation and provide a doctor's note, or face a 30-day suspension. 

De Blasio’s relief plan also includes bringing in NYPD cops to work in the courts to lighten the burden on DOC officers; speeding up the intake process at Rikers Island; hiring contractors to clean up the jail and make necessary repairs, and hire additional medical providers 'to make sure every single offices is on duty who should be on duty,' the mayor said.

The mayor rolled out his plan a day after a group of state lawmakers toured Rikers Island and called it a ‘horror house of abuse and neglect,’ with one politician recounting witnessing an attempted suicide.

New York Senator Jessica Ramos says she witnessed a man try to hang himself during a tour of the state's  infamous Rikers Island jail

New York Senator Jessica Ramos says she witnessed a man try to hang himself during a tour of the state's  infamous Rikers Island jail

‘I can’t begin to tell you the deplorable conditions we saw inside OBCC,’ she told reporters. ‘In one of the intake rooms, there are at least one dozen men – per cell.

The infamous jail is littered with 'guck,' dead cockroaches, fecal matter, and rotting food, she said when describing the 'deplorable' conditions.

Other human rights infractions included a transgender woman locked up with men, an HIV positive man being denied his medication, diabetics being denied insulin, and employees working back-to-back 24-hour shifts, politicians said.

‘It’s inhumane for everyone here,’ González-Rojas told reporters. ‘People were telling me, “I feel like a slave. I feel like an animal. I’m treated like an animal.”’

Alice Fontier, managing director of Neighborhood Defender Service, recalled during her most recent tour of the facility seeing people packed in intake cells for weeks, without access to a phone or their attorneys.

A two-by-six foot shower is being used as a segregated intake unit, she said, and prisoners are given a plastic bag to use as a toilet.

A plan was approved in 2019 to shutter Rikers and replace it with several smaller jails, but it won't happen until 2026.

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