January 19, 2023
From The State Prison Guard’s Union:
Elmira , NY – Five officers sustained minor injuries after three separate inmate attacks at the maximum security correctional facility in the first two weeks of January.
The first assault occurred on Friday, January 6. An inmate was utilizing a facility phone and had gone over his allotted time. He was ordered by an officer to get off the phone and he refused. The officer approached the inmate and ordered him back to his cell. Initially, the inmate complied and was escorted by the officer back to his cell. During the escort, the inmate turned and struck the officer in the left side of his face. A second officer responded to the attack and assisted in putting the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the ground. On the ground, the two officers applied handcuffs to the inmate.
Once in handcuffs, the inmate became compliant. He was brought to his feet and escorted to a Special Housing Unit.
The officer who was initially struck in the face sustained pain and swelling to the left side of his face. He was treated at the facility and remained on duty.
The second incident occurred on Thursday, January 12. During the evening meal run an officer ordered an inmate to submit to a random pat frisk for contraband in the laundry corridor. The inmate initially complied and put his hands on the wall. During the frisk, the inmate turned away from the wall and struck the officer multiple times in the face and head. The officer, along with a second officer, immediately grabbed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the floor. On the floor, handcuffs were applied and the inmate was escorted from the laundry corridor.
The officer who was struck in the face sustained abrasions to his cheek and forehead. The second officer sustained an abrasion to both sides of his forehead when his head struck a wall forcing the inmate to the ground. Both officers were treated by facility medical staff and remained on duty.
The following day, staff were conducting random cell searches for contraband. An officer ordered an inmate to exit his cell so the cell could be searched. When the cell door was opened the inmate struck the officer several times in the head. The officer, with the assistance of two other officers, grabbed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the ground. On the ground, the inmate remained combative. The officers forced the inmate’s arms behind his back and applied handcuffs. He was brought to his feet and removed from the cell block.
The officer who was struck in the head sustained multiple abrasions to his forehead. A second officer sustained pain and swelling to his wrist subduing the inmate. Both were treated by facility medical staff and remained on duty.
The inmate, 24, is serving a 25 year sentence after being convicted in 2021 in Albany County for Attempted Murder 2nd and Criminal Possession of Weapon 2nd.
“The inmate violence that exists at Elmira is some of the worst we have in our correctional facilities in the state. Officers are attacked on a daily basis and the inmate on inmate assaults are equally as bad. As we approach the one year mark of the implementation of the HALT Act, it is crystal clear that the legislation is a complete failure and has only contributed in making the work environment for staff more dangerous. What needs to occur to have the legislators that supported this absurd legislation wake up and do something about it? How many officers need to be critically injured or worse, killed? While they enjoy being the highest paid legislators in the country, they should begin to earn it and make the necessary changes to ensure the safety of all our members in state correctional facilities.” – stated Kenny Gold, NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President.