The Bronx District Attorney, Darcel Clark, revealed that Tucker-Frederick was under pressure to boost the low percentage of officers who had received the training.
A correction officer at Rikers Island, Vinette Tucker-Frederick, has been indicted for falsifying suicide prevention training records in 2021
She was arraigned on 74 counts each of tampering with public records, identity theft, and official misconduct. According to the allegations, Tucker-Frederick orchestrated the scheme by providing a group of officers with the identification and login details of 74 colleagues who were on leave. This group then completed the mandatory online training course using false identities, unbeknownst to the officers whose names were used.
Clark stated that Tucker-Frederick’s motive was to increase the training numbers, which were low at the time due to a series of suicides in the jails. In 2021 alone, there were six suicides reported. At Rikers Island’s Anna M. Kross Center, where Tucker-Frederick worked in the control room, only around 5% of the staff had undergone the training.
The investigation was conducted jointly by the Bronx DA’s Public Integrity Bureau and the city Department of Investigation. Jocelyn Strauber, the Investigation Commissioner, emphasized the importance of suicide prevention training for officers, noting that Tucker-Frederick’s alleged actions put individuals in custody at risk.
Tucker-Frederick, a nine-year veteran, has been indefinitely suspended without pay
The Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association has committed to providing her with legal representation. Correction Commissioner Louis Molina, who assumed office in January 2022, condemned the behavior and stressed the significance of suicide prevention training within the correctional facility.
While all correction officers receive suicide prevention training in the academy, the current statistics show that approximately 68% of staff working in the facilities have completed the refresher course, which is conducted on an ongoing basis. The Correction Department also offers mental health courses covering suicide awareness, along with a video shown during roll calls to educate officers on identifying self-harm signs.
The investigation remains ongoing, and the department continues to prioritize the implementation of essential training programs while holding individuals accountable for their actions.