Well, to be precise Preet Bharara did not compare Rikers Island prison in NYC with India’s notorious prisons.
But in condemning alarming levels of violence against adolescents held at Rikers Island correctional facility, Bharara may have discovered that Rikers Island is as bad as hell-hole prisons in his native India where horrific ill-treatment of inmates is the norm.
Following a multi-year investigation on use of force by prison staff, inmate-on-inmate violence, and use of punitive segregation during 2011-2013, Bharara’s office found “a pattern and practice of conduct at Rikers Island that violates the rights of adolescents.”
Bharara’s office discovered rampant use of unnecessary force by NYC prison staff against adolescent inmates and frequent resort to punitive solitary confinement. On any given day in 2013, 15-25% of Rikers Island inmates were thrown into solitary confinement.
Rikers Island prison staff’s favorite area of attack on inmates are the heads or faces, potentially dangerous spots that can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.
Compounding the tragedy, most adolescent inmates at Rikers Island are pre-trial detainees, not convicts. And many of these youngsters could be found innocent later in a court of law.
Here’s what Devyani Khobragade’s nemesis Preet Bharara had to say about the horrible violence against adolescents at Rikers Island prison (located just outside Manhattan):