Riker’s Island Prison has been making headlines quite often these past few months and the headlines are only getting worse for the already corrupt NYC Department of Corrections.
The United States Corrections Special Operations Group, a private Virginia based company, has provided Riker’s Island prison with new military-style weapons and training, under a $1.2 million dollar contract with the NYC Department of Corrections, New York Daily News reports.
On the dramatized video above, the weapons being provided to prison guards and the training will be almost identical to military training, and yes, the guns will shoot real “less than lethal” bullets at unarmed prisoners. The guards will learn how to use Kel Tec guns and tasers in addition to their pepper spray, electric current shields, and batons and will be trained by pretending to be in high stakes war inside the walls of a prison.
Gawker told readers, “Rikers is ‘contemplating’ giving 32 ‘elite officers’ tasers to use on inmates ‘who are actively physically resisting or exhibiting physical aggression.'” Prison activists are opposed to the idea of arming the deeply troubled Rikers staff with potentially deadly weapons instead of using DOC funds to expand deescalation training. Even members of Rikers’ own Emergency Service Unit have argued that the use of tasers—which tethers the supervisors to the inmate—are “tactically not sound” as they “render the supervisors useless.”
Not only have prison activists spoken out about the terrifying changes going on in the prison system, a member of the Rikers Emergency Services Unit told the Post, “Officers are being written up all the time and charged with using too much pepper spray, yet here we are on Rikers practicing with rubber pellets shooting shotguns.”
With all that is happening inside and outside of prison, it’s hard not to wonder what lies ahead for humanity and what the end game is for the private companies that are funding the militarization of police and prisons and the wars in the Middle East. What are people looking forward to in a world where trained officers and guards are being given military weapons, training, and protection against unarmed prisoners, American civilians, and innocent people overseas. What are authorities preparing for, and how will humanity protect itself?