Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig announced today that Bayside State Prison corrections officer John Makos has been arrested for allegedly “assaulting and physically punishing inmates” over the course of at least nine months in 2019.
“Prisoners are entitled to be treated with basic dignity, not pummeled and humiliated at the whim of correctional officers,” Honig said in a statement. “We once again affirm our commitment to uphold the civil rights of all persons, including those living in a correctional setting.”
According to the charges filed today, Makos and other corrections officers at Bayside created a regime of punishment bordering on torture for inmates at the prison, ostensibly in response to violations of the prison’s rules. The inmates were compelled not to report on their abuse for fear of retaliation and losing valuable kitchen jobs within the prison.
“It matters not whether the wearer belongs to a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, or a correctional facility, we all bear the same responsibility to respect and defend the rights of those in our care,” said George Crouch Jr., the FBI agent in charge of the operation. “Let me be clear, the FBI protects and upholds the rights of all of our citizens.”