Mark Figley: Riker’s Island rape case proves it’s bad thinking

Riker’s Island contains New York City’s biggest jail and is the site of one of the world’s largest correctional/mental institutions.

With an annual budget of nearly $900 million, more than 10,000 staff and an average daily population of inmates to match, it also has a long reputation of violence, abuse and corruption.

So, it’s not surprising that a pending lawsuit alleges that a prison prostitution ring was in operation there, with staff encouraging a straight male inmate to identify as a transgender female to gain access to the women’s wing of the facility. As an added kicker, New York Department of Corrections higher-ups knew all about it.

The civil suit, filed by a since-released female inmate identified as Rose Doe, states that shortly after she entered the prison in December 2021, a biological male inmate was also placed there. He was said to have a full beard and openly boasted that he was only pretending to be transgender to gain sexual access to female inmates. The male inmate was also part of an organized prostitution ring instructed to maintain his transgender charade to facilitate the trade. But the story doesn’t stop here.

At the time the male inmate was moved to the women’s dorm, he was already being officially investigated for involvement in five separate prison rapes. In the case of inmate Doe, she first reported to prison staff that the man made inappropriate comments and grabbed her rear end in a bathroom. The active warden then asked prison investigators to follow up upon the claim the following day, but Doe was choked and viciously raped by the same inmate that night before other female inmates could stop him.

Upon further investigation, inmate Doe reported that she witnessed her male attacker sexually abuse a mentally disabled female inmate just two days before her own attack.

How did prison officials react following these allegations? According to details of the lawsuit, they delayed Doe’s rape investigation for 10 hours. Then to further her trauma, they denied her mental health and medical treatment related to the assault and failed to provide her a diet specific to her diabetes, which contributed to her vulnerability for being attacked.

Inmate Doe has since been released from Rikers, while her male attacker remains incarcerated at Clinton Correctional, a maximum security prison for men.

In the upside-down age in which we live, transgenderism has now impacted the field of criminal justice by convincing some self-annointed experts that nothing problematic could ever come from placing male and female inmates in the same facility. These same so-called geniuses have further concluded that inmates are entitled to be housed according to their preferred genders. And male inmates should have equal access to both men and women when it comes to sexual violence. It’s the only humane thing to expect from a woke, enlightened society.

Yet what is neglected is that prisons are populated by criminals, among the most manipulative individuals on the planet. They are survivors who are accustomed to making their own rules and using the weaknesses of others to gain personal advantage and control.

Once they become inmates, these individuals gravitate towards those with authority over them who hold similar attitudes, which commonly leads to a criminal enterprise. Throw in some corrupt prison administrators, and you’ve got a dirty mess that Riker’s Island will likely never recover from.

It just confirms that the inmates truly are running the asylum, or in case of Riker’s Island, the prison itself.

Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News.