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USA-RIKERS/
RTX1MUAX
August 03, 2015
Damien Norman, 20, poses for a photograph in his apartment in the Bronx borough of New York, December...
New York, UNITED STATES
Norman, 20, poses for a photograph in his apartment in the Bronx borough of New York
Damien Norman, 20, poses for a photograph in his apartment in the Bronx borough of New York, December 19, 2014. Norman says he was 17 years-old while imprisoned and awaiting trial on Rikers Island in 2012 for robbery. During his incarceration Norman says his wrist was broken during an incident involving a correctional officer and he was sent to solitary confinement immediately after. Norman said that during one prison lockdown, a guard "Bended my wrist all the way up to the highest and it popped." Rikers, one of the largest jail complexes in the country which houses around 9,800 prisoners, came under scrutiny after the Justice Department in August 2014 issued a report that described a pattern of violent abuse of male inmates aged 16 to 18 by jail staff. In response to questions from Reuters, a spokesman for Rikers Island Department of Correction (DOC) said that, "Since Commissioner (Joseph) Ponte's appointment last year, he has significantly reformed the care and custody of adolescent inmates, resulting in substantial decline in violence in the adolescent facility." The spokesman added that safety for staff and inmates is Commissioner Ponte's "top priority" and that "DOC has a zero-tolerance police with regards to abuse." Reuters has been unable to independently verify the statements provided by the individual in this portrait. Picture taken December 19, 2014. REUTERS/Elizabeth Shafiroff
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