Veterans center opens on Rikers Island

Posted: Updated:
RIKERS ISLAND -

A new housing unit dedicated for veteran inmates has opened at the Anna M. Kross Center on Rikers Island.

The unit, the first of its kind, offers better access to resources like in-person meetings with social workers and counselors for veteran inmates, which could better prepare them for re-entry into civilian life.

It will be staffed by correction officers and counselors who have also served in the military.

"You understand what inmates have gone through," says corrections officer Jeffrey Wright, who has served three tours overseas. "Because we've all been away from our families at some point, so it's kind of nice to give them something that's nicer for themselves."

Department of Correction officials say that even though Rikers Island is set to close, the program will still remain. They are working on a way to figure out how to implement it in the new jails that plan to open.

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