Frustrated by violent inmates, Rikers Island guards show wounds

Two New York City correction officers attacked by inmates on Rikers Island are speaking out and showing their scars. They are asking that dangerous inmates with violent histories be kept separate from the general population.

The injured correction officers asked us not to use their names for their safety because they plan to return to work on Rikers Island. One officer was scalded with hot water and beaten so badly that he suffered a fractured nose, vision damage, and many bruises. He said an inmate threw hot water in his face from his blind side.

While working in a mental observation unit, another officer was slashed on the face with a sharp object.

Correction officers' union head Elias Husamadeen said both inmate attackers did not belong in a situation where, according to him, they outnumber cos by 50 to 1.

"We continue to ask the mayor to reinstate punitive segregation for any and all violent inmates regardless of their age," Husamadeen said.

COBA, the union, said that overall violence has gone up since the city ended punitive segregation for inmates under 21.

But the mayor said that safety is still a top priority. He said that separating inmates who have a propensity for violence and setting clear penalties work.

The Department of Correction said that assaults on staff are actually down 16 percent in the last three years.

The union disagreed.

De Blasio accused COBA of "playing politics" with this issue. He said that significant measures are underway to improve conditions on Rikers Island. He said he remains opposed to the use of punitive segregation for inmates under 21.