The New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) recently released a statement regarding the conditions at Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, detailing a number of violent incidents that have occurred at the maximum security correctional facility over the past several weeks.
The release from NYSCOPBA notes that since February 8 through last week, there have been five separate incidents in which officers at the facility sustained minor injuries and others had urine thrown on them. According to the statement, these incidents have made clear the need for stronger disciplinary measures to deter inmates from attacking staff.
The first incident occurred on Wednesday, February 8, when officers ordered a frisk on an inmate who was observed using a cell phone. The inmate resisted, and during the altercation, an object was forced from the inmate’s hand that turned out to be a sharpened toothbrush. Two officers were treated for injuries sustained during the incident.
The second incident occurred on Wednesday, February 15, when an officer witnessed an inmate removing an item from a cell window. When the officer ordered a frisk, the inmate became combative, spitting at the officer and slamming him into the cell door. Two officers were treated for minor knee injuries.
On Thursday, March 2, five officers had urine thrown on them by an inmate through his feed hatch. The inmate threw urine at the officers from a Styrofoam cup, hitting three officers in the face, eyes, and mouth. The officers were treated at the infirmary.
On Thursday, March 9, a staff member opened a letter and found an unknown white powdery substance inside, suspected of being fentanyl. The letter was sent by an inmate to the staff member. The Hazmat team responded to the facility, and the letter and substance were removed from the facility. No staff were affected by the exposure.
On Sunday, March 12, an unruly inmate threw several feed trays at staff, striking one officer in the face and body and hitting a second officer in the face. The incident occurred during a HALT implemented congregate program called chow in a classroom in the mental health unit. The inmate became argumentative with staff and subsequently threw his tray at the officers. A sergeant entered the classroom to try to diffuse the situation, and the inmate threw two trays at the sergeant, both of which missed him. Four other inmates were removed from the classroom, and the combative inmate was removed once he was brought under control.
In response to these incidents, NYSCOPBA is calling for stronger disciplinary measures to be put in place to deter inmates from attacking staff.
“This is exactly why we need stronger disciplinary measures to deter inmates from attacking staff. All the HALT Act has done since April 1 is increase inmate on staff attacks and inmate on inmate violence. Nearly a year later since the legislation went into effect, the statistics clearly show that our facilities are much more dangerous than ever before,” said NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President Kenny Gold.
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