December 28, 2022
From James Miller, NYS Prison Guards Union:
Inmate Assaults on Staff and Inmate on Inmate Assaults will both exceed 1,400 by years end, far exceeding previous records recorded by DOCCS, making 2022 one of the most violent years inside State correctional facilities. Adding to that count are three more officers that were injured in two attacks at Elmira Correctional Facility on Sunday, December 18.
The first incident occurred in a day room in one of the cell blocks at the maximum security correctional facility. An inmate, serving his second stint in prison, was being loud and disruptive. An officer ordered the inmate to stop and he refused. The officer approached the inmate in an attempt to deescalate the situation. When the officer approached, the inmate struck the officer in the face. A second officer immediately responded and both officers placed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the ground. On the ground and still combative, the inmate bit the second officer on his thumb as the officers were attempting to apply handcuffs. The inmate refused to release the bite hold and forced was needed to get the inmate to let go.
The two officers applied handcuffs to the inmate. Once in handcuffs, the inmate became compliant and he was removed from the day room.
The officer who was struck in the face sustained pain and swelling to his left eye and eyelid. The second officer who was bit, sustained bite marks and minor bleeding to his thumb. Both officers were treated by medical staff at the facility and remained on duty.
The inmate, 23, is serving a 22 year sentence after being convicted for Manslaughter 1st in Genesee County in 2022. He originally was arrested in connection with the killings of two men on a dairy farm that year.
The second incident occurred during the evening meal in the mess hall. An inmate was creating a disturbance and ignored several orders to calm down and continue to eat his evening meal. The inmate was escorted out of the mess hall into the corridor by staff. In the corridor, the inmate turned and pushed an officer backwards. Two officers grabbed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the floor. Once on the floor, the inmate became compliant. He was brought to his feet and escorted from the area.
The inmate, 29, was placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges. He is serving a 15 year sentence after being convicted in Niagara County for Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd in 2015.
One officer sustained hand pain and swelling subduing the inmate. He was treated by medical staff and remained on duty.
“Last week, State Legislators gave themselves an early Christmas present by voting for a nice hefty raise for themselves. All while assaults on staff continue to rise to historic levels in our state prisons and nothing has been done to address the violence. Their priorities are clearly distorted and not focused on the most important issues facing the state – rising crime and violence in our communities as well as protecting those who protect them. It is simply mind boggling that they could come back to Albany to pass legislation that financially benefits them while our members are attacked daily by violent inmates, forced to work in unsafe facilities, face mandatory overtime because of lack of staffing, and being threatened to report to work in the middle of a blizzard. Just the type of Christmas spirit we can expect from legislators that voted for the HALT Act and seem to care more for the inmates welfare then they do for public servants who put their lives on the line every day as these lawmakers relax at home with their families.” – stated Kenny Gold, NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President.