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City jail guard from LI in trouble over photo

A city jail guard who lives in Bay Shore is accused of using a contraband cell phone to photograph another guard sleeping in a Rikers Island jail.

The guard who snapped the picture, Claudel Barrau, and the sleeping officer, Nadja Green, have been transferred to jobs away from supervising inmates and will be brought up on internal disciplinary charges, said Stephen Morello, chief spokesman for the city Department of Correction.

"We consider their failures egregious, and we will be aggressively prosecuting their discipline," Morello said.

Green was on duty and in uniform when Barrau snapped the photo of her, mouth agape, flanked by an inmate gesturing the peace sign with his fingers, the city said. Green is slouched in a chair, and the inmate is in green prison garb standing next to her. Jailhouse keys dangle from Green's hip.

The photo - taken at the North Infirmary Command, a jailhouse on Rikers Island that houses as many as 300 sick inmates - "was simply floating around" and was widely circulated within the department, Morello said. It came to the department's attention about Dec. 21.

Unauthorized photography is banned in the jail for security reasons, Morello said, as is having cell phones - even for guards.

"A cell phone would be a desirable commodity among the inmate population in the jail and that could lead to disruption. Parts of a cell phone could be misused if they fell into the hands of an inmate," Morello said. "Inmates will fashion almost anything into a tool of one kind or another."

Morello said Green also slept in the jail at one other time, an offense for which she also is being charged.

Barrau has been with the department for 18 years and Green for more than four years.

The photographed inmate, whose identity the department would not provide, will not be punished, Morello said.

Neither guard could be reached Wednesday to comment.

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