On February 10, 2018, while on duty at Rikers Island, correction officer Jean Souffrant was attacked by a gang-affiliated group of inmates. The attack fractured his neck and left him in the hospital for months. This week, LaborPress is saluting Souffrant as a Hero of Labor in recognition of his dedicated service to the City of New York.
Nearly seven months after his attack, Souffrant is still on the road to recovery. He knows how lucky he is to have made it out alive, but admits the recovery has been a difficult process.
“Both mental and physical parts [of my recovery] have been very challenging for me,” he said. “I’m very grateful to be alive.”
I’m very grateful to be alive. — Correction Officer Jean Souffrant
Souffrant was first drawn to corrections two years ago, when he saw the potential of this new opportunity. The officer is not letting the horrific attack determine his future as a corrections officer, and is considering returning to the job.
“I’m thinking about it. I just hope no one else has to go through this.”
Souffrant was nominated by the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (COBA), the organization that represents correction officers across New York. Michael Skelly, a representative from COBA, views the officer as a hero not only for his handling of the situation, but for his role as a correction officer.
“His bravery and steadfast perseverance throughout this ordeal is emblematic of the dedication and commitment New York City correction officers possess,” he said. “He’s a hero to his fellow correction officers, he’s a hero to labor, and he’s a hero to the entire city of New York.”