An officer at the Cayuga Correctional Facility was assaulted by an inmate earlier this month resulting in injuries.
The New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, a union representing corrections officers, disclosed that the incident happened on March 15. The incarcerated individual was being unruly in the prison’s dormitory and refused the officer’s orders to calm down, according to NYSCOPBA’s account.
The situation became violent when the incarcerated individual tried to hit the officer. Although the officer avoided the punch, he fell to the ground. The inmate then jumped on the officer, covered his head with his jacket, and repeatedly slammed him on the floor. Another officer intervened and handcuffed the perpetrator.
The injured officer was treated by prison medical staff for lower back pain and swelling. After receiving treatment, he resumed his duties. The inmate, whose identity was not released, was sentenced to eight years in prison for third- and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in 2018. This is his second time in prison, having served six years for third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
NYSCOPBA officials utilized the attack to push against the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act (HALT), which limits how long incarcerated individuals can be detained in special housing units. The union has blamed HALT for a surge in prison violence, despite the fact that the trend began before the law was enacted in April 2022.
Kenny Gold, vice president of NYSCOPBA’s western region, claimed that HALT has “taken away any real deterrent for prisoners” to assault staff. According to Gold, “Our members do not feel supported by certain members of the state Legislature who supported HALT and turned their backs on the men and women who put on that uniform every day.”
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