ALBANY — The pinnacle of the state’s prisons system is threatening inmates with new penalties for assaulting jailers as assaults on corrections officers have doubled in recent times regardless of the variety of folks behind bars having plummeted greater than 40 p.c.
“There are some people confined throughout the Division who currently, and with out warning or provocation, have chosen to commit extraordinarily critical assaults in opposition to workers,” wrote State Division of Corrections and Group Supervision Appearing Commissioner Anthony Annucci to all incarcerated people on Monday, in a memo obtained by The Put up.
“This consists of civilian in addition to safety workers, and feminine in addition to male workers,” he mentioned.
“The pattern I’m seeing as of late, when it comes to sheer savagery of the assault, the randomness of the assault and the shortage of any precipitating occasion earlier than the assault, is extraordinarily disturbing. This won’t be tolerated,” he added.
As of Sunday, there have been 1022 assaults on corrections workers to this point this yr. That’s double the 524 reported for all of 2012, despite the fact that there’s nonetheless one month left in 2021 — which is outpacing assaults recorded over the earlier two years.
There are roughly 31,400 folks in state-run amenities presently, down from the over 54,000 recorded in 2012.
“Make no mistake about it. The Division will do the whole lot inside its energy to maintain everybody secure from assault, no matter whether or not the individual is an worker, different incarcerated particular person, volunteer, customer, or contractor,” warned Annucci.
“This in [turn] means holding the responsible occasion totally accountable in a court docket of regulation.”
He added that prisoners slapped with a brand new felony conviction could possibly be sentenced as a persistent offender, which may result in a brand new sentence of as much as life in jail.
However Mike Powers, president of the NYS Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Affiliation, slammed DOCCS, argued the push by state officers to restrict using solitary confinement brought about the soar in assaults.
“This memo misses the mark in so some ways and is extraordinarily disturbing. To us, it implies that the State’s progressive insurance policies have watered down the disciplinary system a lot that their solely deterrent to preserving inmates from assaulting workers is a sternly worded memo and counting on overtaxed [district attorneys] workplaces to deliver forth fees,” he instructed The Put up.
The union filed a federal lawsuit in Albany final yr in opposition to ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and DOCCS over the just lately handed “HALT” Solitary Confinement Act, which limits an officer’s capability to continuously make the most of solitary confinement as punishment.
A DOCCS spokesperson mentioned the division “must run a balanced system the place everybody can really feel secure.”
“In an effort to proceed to take care of security, we will need to have a disciplinary system that affords these incarcerated people with significant packages to deal with their poor choices, whereas additionally leveraging legal prosecution,” the rep added.