Union Says NYS Put Bullseye On Our Back After Another Attack, Inmate’s Face Slashed
Two more incidents of violence inside Marcy Correctional Facility in the last week have correctional officers again saying they believe a move made by New York politicians has left guards with a target on their backs.
In the first incident - which occurred last Tuesday (April 19) - an inmate within the facility was slashed in his face, neck and ear with a ceramic scalpel by another prisoner who is serving 50-years to life for murder, the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association says.
The injured inmate was treated in the facility's infirmary, while his attacker was placed in a special housing unit, officials said.
In a separate incident that occurred on Friday (April 22), a female correctional officer was attacked after telling an inmate he needed to get off the phone. NYSCOBA says the inmate was asked to get off the phone because he was yelling and making threats. He wound up charging the female guard, prompting her to administer pepper spray, however, the scuffle that ensued resulted in the guard being sprayed in the face, NYSCOPBA said.
A second guard who had responded to assist suffered minor injuries while attempting to subdue the inmate, officials said.
In both instances, the union believes limitations put on solitary confinement by lawmakers only emboldens inmates because the threat of solitary is reduced, NYSOPBA said in a statement.
Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act, or HALT, was passed in Albany earlier this year and put restrictions on the use of confinement.
“Inmate attacks on staff and inmate on inmate violence has become a daily occurrence at our correctional facilities. In less than a month since HALT was instituted into our prisons, violence has increased once again to record levels. The inmate on inmate assault was extremely violent and carried out by an inmate who was convicted for felony assault in Shawangunk Correctional Facility in 2017. Already serving a 50 year sentence for murder, it is clear there is no semblance of rehabilitation in the 27 years he has been confined. With little or no ramifications for either of these attacks, this will continue until our elected officials, who supported this legislation, recognize all they have done is put a bullseye on our members back," Bryan Hluska, NYSCOPBA Central Region Vice President said.
Prior to the HALT Act taking effect, NYSCOPBA spoke out on the topic saying they believed the restrictions would lead to more violence in New York State facilities against other inmates and staff.