New York

Report: Excessive force continues at Rikers Island jail

A report by a federal monitor overseeing reforms at New York City's massive Rikers Island jail complex says guards continue to use excessive force at an "alarming rate."

Monday's report says inmates have been unnecessarily struck in the head while handcuffed, slammed against walls and doused with pepper spray at Rikers, one of the biggest correctional facilities in the world. It claims these incidents are often not reported accurately and sometimes ignored.

The Department of Correction says it's moving quickly to fix these issues. It says uses of force at facilities housing its youngest inmates are the lowest they've been in years.

The independent monitor was installed after a 2015 agreement to settle civil litigation over pervasive brutality at Rikers.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) says he wants to close Rikers over the next decade.