May 9, 2016
State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano issued a statement of support of the Elmira Correctional Facility workers who are trying to raise awareness of violence inside the prison there in Elmira.
In a joint statement, the lawmakers said that “There’s a dangerous, increasingly volatile environment within our state prisons, and we agree that our correction officers are at risk. Prison violence is at an all-time for several reasons, including staff cuts, budget reductions, and highly questionable policy decisions including the most recent settlement to restrict the use of special housing units even for the most brutal, violent felons imaginable. It doesn’t make sense. It’s made a difficult, dangerous job even less safe. We commend Elmira Correctional Facility officers for their efforts today to raise more widespread awareness of their personal safety concerns, the security of the Elmira Correctional Facility and prisons statewide, and the absolute need to provide correction officers with the absolute best in training, technology and tools to combat this rising tide of violence, including policies and procedures to encourage good behavior. The absolute priority must be to ensure that the Elmira Correctional Facility and every other state prison is defined by safety and security for officers and staff, for inmates making an honest attempt at rehabilitation, and for the public at large. We’re proud to represent a large number correction officers and their families. We respect the job they do, their dedicated service and commitment to public safety, and we will stand firmly behind them in every effort to achieve a more secure prison environment.”
May 9, 2016