Ethics of health workers at NYC jails are compromised, landmark study finds

New York City jail health workers who treat inmates say their medical ethics are compromised in various ways by security rules and staff at the Rikers Island jail complex.

Survey data to be published in the June issue of the Health and Human Rights Journal show that more than one-third of mental health workers feel their ethics are regularly compromised.

Sixteen percent say they've heard of or seen guards beating inmates in a clinic.

The study focuses on the dual loyalties health workers have to both their inmate patients and to jail rules and guards responsible for their safety.

It concludes health officials should stop authorizing solitary confinement for inmates guards punish for breaking jailhouse rules.

Officials say they're working to improve conditions in the jails.