Rikers Island. Rikers Island.

Ingles v. Toro

Full Name: Ingles v. Toro, 438 F. Supp. 2d 203 (S.D.N.Y. 2006)

Together with The Legal Aid Society Prisoners’ Rights Project and Sullivan and Cromwell, the Firm successfully litigated a class action against the New York City Department of Corrections on behalf of inmates housed at Rikers Island. The case alleged a widespread pattern and practice of excessive force against inmates, as well as inadequate training, investigation, and discipline of officers. The City settled by agreeing to a slate of systematic reforms.

Twenty-two prisoners, on fourteen units, sought monetary damages as well as injunctive and declaratory relief. The terms of the settlement also required a variety of physical changes inside the different prisons as well as extensive administrative revisions in the manner that use of force incidents are documented and investigated.

Specifically, investigative procedures are to be diagrammed, updated and use of force participants photographed four times from no more than four feet away. Use of force training is to include classroom instruction and gym training for all incoming guards. It will be followed-up at in-service reviews and reinforced monthly at roll-call. Use of force will be tracked by location and incident. Tracking will also include any disciplinary charges and their outcome. All points of the agreement are to be completed by November 1, 2009 at which time, if everything is satisfactorily completed, the agreement will expire.