NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Department of Correction says New York City's jails are seeing signs of improvement in use of force, but justice advocates say more needs to be done.
Data released by the DOC shows use of force rates down by 11% since the first half of this year.
Fights among incarcerated people are down 19%.
The assault rate against staff dropped by 12%.
"We're not declaring victory by any measure," said Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi. "But our hope is that these favorable numbers are early indicators of a positive trend that we can build upon to create a better future for staff and incarcerated people alike."
While the average slashing/stabbing rate for July-November is 12% higher than it was for Feb-June, the slashing/stabbing rates for October and November (6.9 per 1,000 people in October and 6.6 in November) were substantially lower than September (8.7 per 1,000 incarcerated people).
The department points to a reduction in absence without leave (AWOL), which is not coming to work and not calling in, the reduction in staff working triple shifts, and the number of unstaffed posts as likely factors contributing to some of these favorable indicators in its jails.
More than a dozen people have died on Rikers Island this year.
Activists are still calling for the jail to be closed.