Sen. Griffo to DOCCS: Growing Inmate on Staff Attacks Need Immediate Action
News of another attack on a correctional officer at a Central New York prison has a local state senator asking state officials what is being done to protect them.
State Senator Joe Griffo sent a letter to the Acting Commissioner of Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), Anthony Annucci on Tuesday after reports of the latest inmate-on-staff incident was reported.
A corrections officer at Mohawk Correction Facility in Rome, NY sustained severe back pain and cracked a tooth in a tussle with an inmate during a transport recently.
In his letter, the Rome Republican points to the record number of inmate on staff assaults in 2021, nearly 1,200 for the year, and asks what steps are being taken to address the spike, saying DOCCS employees deserve better, and cannot wait for action any longer:
Here is a portion of the letter sent by Griffo to Annucci:
At a hearing of the Senate’s Finance Committee on March 1, 2022, you indicated that a comprehensive task force consisting of deputy DOCCS commissioners, superintendents from maximum and medium security prisons and members from respective bargaining units had met to discuss the ongoing violence against officers and staff. During the hearing, you stated that this meeting included detailed analyses of assaults, as well as all that DOCCS had done so far and future steps that could be taken to end violence on staff.
New York’s hardworking and dedicated corrections officers and civilian staff cannot wait any longer. Corrections employees understand the dangerousness of their jobs but this increase in violence is unnecessary and unsustainable, and DOCCS personnel deserve a better degree of safety. It is time, as I have advocated during my time in the Senate, you and your department take the action necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of men and women working in the state’s correctional facilities.
Please inform me of what is being done now to address this troubling matter. I look forward to your expeditious response.
Previous reporting by WIBX 950 about such incidents shows a more than 100-percent increase over the last decade, culminating with last year's record violence.
In light of the growing dangers faced by CO's, the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) said just last month that changes to the state's law regarding solitary confinement have put a bullseye on the backs of guards.