NYC jail fails to punish inmate, allowing him to assault guard


A city inmate who was supposed to be in solitary confinement after attacking a correction officer ambushed that same jail staffer again just four days later, breaking his nose.

The bungled bureaucracy that allowed inmate Sentwali Laviscount, 32, to remain in the general population in the Manhattan Detention Complex has infuriated jail staff.

“This should never have happened,” fumed a veteran jail staffer familiar with the case. “The department failed.”

Jail honchos were unable to explain why Laviscount wasn’t shipped off to the so-called “bing” after his initial attack on Correction Officer Anthony Romano at 6:10 a.m. June 9 at the Manhattan Detention Complex.

Rikers violence drops compared to last year, Commissioner says

A source said it was because there were no solitary cells available, despite a drastic reduction in the number of inmates held in isolation.

Laviscount, who is facing attempted murder charges, hit Romano in the face during a search before a scheduled court transfer, according to jail records.

But the detainee was never moved to a different facility, placed in solitary or hit with added criminal charges.

On Monday, Laviscount crossed paths with Romano near the jail clinic at 8 p.m. and punched him again — breaking his nose and cutting his lip, department records show.

Rikers Island solitary population drops to 167 inmates

A JAN. 28, 2016 FILE PHOTO

Jail honchos were unable to explain why inmate Sentwali Laviscount wasn’t in solitary confinement for attacking a guard.

(Bebeto Matthews/AP)

Romano required stitches in his mouth, department documents reveal.

A photo of the officer’s bloody nose was posted on a Facebook group run by retired department officers and shared on other social media.

Though jails Commissioner Joseph Ponte has touted a decline in violence at city jails, correction officers have griped that their jobs are as unsafe as ever.

“Inmates have no fear assaulting officers because there’s no additional charges or discipline to combat that type of behavior,” a veteran department staffer said.

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Department officials maintain serious assaults on staff are down this year compared with last year. Records show those attacks on staff dropped by 46% between July 1 and May 1.

The de Blasio administration has added nearly $200 million to the department’s budget to boost the number of officers and add services for mentally ill inmates.

But the added funds have done little to stem the rise in stabbings and slashings, the key violence indicator, records show.

There were 122 such attacks from July 1 to June 16, records show. That’s up 12.9% from the 108 over the last fiscal year, which ended June 30.

Laviscount was in jail on attempted murder, burglary and assault charges stemming from a Nov. 7, 2015, Queens shooting. The victim was shot in the shoulder after an argument, according to a criminal complaint.

Laviscount’s attorney was unable to comment about the alleged jailhouse attack.

“I don’t know anything about it,” said Wyatt Gibbons.

Rikers jail officers found 48% more weapons this year

His client was rearrested and hit with the assault charge after the attack, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Ponte has moved to reduce the number of inmates placed in solitary confinement, a punishment inmate advocates and medical experts say is unfairly harmful — especially to young detainees.

But jail bosses are still instructed to use that punishment on inmates who attack staff to protect other officers and detainees.

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