Union Rep Calls for Action Following Recent Attacks on Staff at Marcy Correctional
Three prison guards at Marcy Correctional Facility were injured this month in two separate attacks inside the facility.
That's according to a union representative for the correctional officers who is now calling on the district attorney's office to send a clear message that attacks on staff won't be taken lightly.
The first alleged incident this month occurred on March 3, the other happened this week, said Bryan Hluska, NYSCOBPA Central Regional Vice President.
"As the violence and attacks on staff continue, it is important to note in these referenced attacks that both inmates are serving short sentence [and] are eligible for parole next month, and in 2023. The is an opportunity for the Oneida County District Attorney's Office to send a clear message that attacks on staff will not be without consequences. With a watered down disciplinary system already in place and with HALT about to be instituted in the coming weeks, prosecuting cases like this, where there will be real costs to their actions, in the only deterrent we have left," Hluska said in a statement.
HALT stands for the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act (HALT).
The March 3 incident, he tells WIBX, occurred in the facility's infirmary. When an officer reportedly told a 'loud and disruptive' inmate to 'calm down', the inmate allegedly approached the officer and spit at him. When the officer moved out of the way to avoid the spit, the inmate then punched the officer in the head, he said.
The inmate, who ultimately was subdued with the help of pepper spray, is currently serving a 3-year sentence on an attempted burglary conviction in Onondaga County. The guard suffered swelling to his temple and eye, and after receiving treatment from medical personnel, was able to remain on duty, Hluska said.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident that occurred on March 22, an inmate returning from the recreation yard is accused of approaching an officer and punching him in the chest. Guards say pepper spray was used on the inmate, but it initially did not have any effect. A second guard assisted and they were able handcuff and restrain the inmate, officials said.
Both guards complained of minor injuries, resulting in swelling and soreness in their wrist and hand areas, but again, Hluska says after they were treated by medical personnel, both were able to finish their shifts.
Additionally, staff reported the recovery of six makeshift weapons found on inmates during pat-frisks at Marcy Correctional. Among them, were sharpened pieces of plastic tied up in string, serving as makeshift shanks, Hluska said.
Earlier this month, when six prison facilities across the state were closed, WIBX spoke to Hluska who pointed statists reflecting an alarming rise in assaults on staff over the last decade.