New York City’s Vaccination Policy Threatens Jobs Of Hundreds Of Jailers

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : December 3, 2021

As a result of a Tuesday night deadline to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, corrections officers in New York City’s problematic jail system might be suspended. Hundreds of cops might be affected by the suspension.

New York City’s Vaccination Policy Threatens Jobs Of Hundreds Of Jailers

The ratio states that seven in ten corrections officers have got at least one dose of a flu vaccine. However, it is the lowest percentage among any governmental agency in New York City. Approximately 1,900 workers had not yet met the standard. It was postponed for correctional workers for a month because of existing staffing difficulties.

New York City's Vaccination Policy Threatens Jobs Of Hundreds Of Jailers

Inmates who have requested religious or medical exemptions while their petitions are being reviewed will be permitted to continue working. According to prison officials, they plan to release figures on Wednesday detailing the number of inmates who requested time off from their regular work schedules.

According to municipal officials, workers who haven’t requested an exemption and who haven’t presented proof of immunization by 5 p.m. Tuesday will be placed on unpaid leave and will have to return any firearms or protective gear the city has provided them with.

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an emergency executive order on Monday to augment jail staff by allowing a change from the typical 8-hour tour schedule to 12-hour shifts in preparation for the upcoming duty.

The president of the prison guards’ union called their acts “reckless and irresponsible.” Lawsuits to challenge the requirement have been a method adopted by a police union in late October as the deadline for policemen to get vaccinated neared.

On-time as scheduled, the requirement went into force without a hitch. Prison staffing has not improved since Mayor de Blasio declared in October that prison personnel will be allowed additional time to complete their immunization requirements, according to the president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association.

According to Boscio, more than 100 of the expected 600 guards have been hired, but none of them have started working in the cells yet. There have been a lot of resignations and retirements in the last few months, and guards are still working around the clock with no breaks for food or relaxation, Boscio said in an interview. The head of the prison workers’ union voiced fear that a ban on inmates being vaccinated may be deadly.

Putting the few workers we have on administrative leave tomorrow would be like throwing gasoline on a fire, Boscio said Tuesday. The choice would have a devastating effect on the safety of our officers as well as the thousands of detainees we hold.

Due to the imminent suspensions, there will certainly be an increase in overcrowding in the city’s jails, including the notorious Rikers Island facility. During the outbreak, prisons that had been festering for years have exploded into violence, self-harm, and at least 14 deaths, the largest number of deaths in the jails since 2012.

Although Rikers Island is set to be shut down by the city in 2027, a number of difficulties have led to calls for serious reform or early closure. On Tuesday, the city announced that five construction firms had been awarded contracts to build more jails in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

Members of the House Oversight Committee, including New York Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, issued a letter to the New York City district attorneys last week, expressing “grave concerns” about the number of individuals being held in jail because of exorbitant bail amounts.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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