The City of New York has agreed to pay $850,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Kadeem John, who, while a teenage inmate at the Robert N. Davoren Center (RNDC) at Rikers Island, was brutally assaulted as part of “the Program,” a system in which gang-affiliated prisoners, with knowledge and approval of corrections officers, keep order by assaulting and threatening other prisoners. In June 2010, when Mr. John was 18 and in RNDC for a turnstile jump, he was menaced by an inmate enforcer and his team, who controlled access to phones, the seating arrangements in the day room and the distribution of cigarettes. Eventually, another inmate brutally assaulted Mr. John in order to elevate his status within the team and in the eyes of the enforcer, causing permanent neurological injury and severe kidney damage. On August 31, 2012, U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson approved the settlement of the case. Mr. John is represented by ECBAWM’s Jonathan Abady, Katherine Rosenfeld, and Adam Pulver, along with co-counsel the Legal Aid Society’s Prisoners Rights Project.
“New York City to Pay in Another Prisoner Suit,” New York Times