To the Editor: On Nov. 17, the Queens Daily Eagle reported that a city Department of Correction spokesperson declared, "We want New York City's jails to be as safe, humane and as efficiently run as possible, period."

Since 2014 the jails have been unsafe, inhumane and inefficient, yet eight years later City Hall and DOC still proceed myopically, unable to see the obvious.

Further, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi continue to blame the jail crisis on the coronavirus pandemic and the high rate of uniformed-staff sick leave and absences without leave. Yes, COVID and an understaffed essential work force have made things worse, but this crisis has existed for eight years. Only in 2020-2021 has it received substantially more media coverage and attention from politicians.

DOC's last three Commissioners have abjectly failed to manage the jails.

Under Schiraldi, inmate violence has soared to its highest level in 25 years, with approximately 200 slashings and stabbings since June, when he assumed leadership. And for calendar year 2021 there were about 300.

Vincent Schiraldi is not a law-enforcement professional. He is a social worker who displays a reckless disregard for inmate violence and deliberate indifference toward gang control of the jails.

And although social work plays a significant role in jail management, it alone will not create safe, humane and efficient jails.


Retired Assistant Deputy Warden


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