Albany — The head of the state’s prison system is threatening inmates with new penalties for assaulting jailers as attacks on corrections officers have doubled in recent years, while the number of people behind bars has exceeded 40 percent. Has been.
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State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci wrote in one letter to all on Monday, “There are individuals within the department who have recently, and without warning or provocation, committed extremely serious attacks against employees.” have opted for.” Memorandum received by post.
“This includes civilian as well as security personnel, and female as well as male employees,” he said.
“The trend I have been seeing recently, in terms of the sheer brutality of the attack, the randomness of the attack and the lack of any sharp incident prior to the attack, is extremely disturbing. This will not be tolerated,” he said.
As of Sunday, this year there have been 1022 attacks on correctional workers. That’s more than double the 524 reported for all of 2012, even though there’s still a month to go in 2021 – surpassing the number of attacks recorded in the previous two years.
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There are currently about 31,400 people in state-run facilities, up from the 54,000 recorded in 2012.
“Make no mistake about it. The department will do everything within its power to keep everyone safe from attack, whether that person is an employee, another incarcerated person, a volunteer, a visitor, or a contractor,” Annucci warned.
“In this [turn] This means holding the guilty party fully accountable in court.”
He said inmates slapped with a new felony could be punished as a continuing offender, leading to a new sentence of up to life in prison.
But Mike Powers, president of the NYS Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, pulled up the DOCCS, arguing the push by state officials to limit the use of solitary confinement led to a surge in attacks.
“This memo misses the mark in many ways and is extremely disturbing. For us, it means that the state’s progressive policies have decimated the disciplinary system so much as to prevent prisoners from attacking staff. Sole deterrent is a harsh term and is more dependent on tax [district attorneys] To bring office charges,” he told The Post.
The union filed a federal lawsuit in Albany last year against the former government. Andrew Cuomo and the DOCCS on the recently passed “HALT” solitary confinement act, which limits an officer’s ability to repeatedly use solitary confinement as punishment.
A spokesman for DOCCS said the department needs to run “a balanced system where everyone can feel safe.”
“To maintain security, we must have a disciplinary system that takes advantage of criminal prosecution along with meaningful programs to address their poor judgments to these imprisoned individuals,” the representative said.