ALBANY – Increases in violence in state
prisons in the Mid-Hudson Valley and across the state have prompted the
union that represents corrections officers to call for increased staff.
New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association President Michael Powers said the situation is at its boiling point.
“We are understaffed and we have a high increase of assaults on correctional staff, a high increase of inmate on inmate assault, a heavy, prevalent gang activity in our facilities, which creates for a violent workplace along with reclassification of inmates from maximum security to minimum security correctional settings and it is creating a volatile workplace,” Powers said.
He said the resurgence of heroin in the prisons along with synthetic drugs like Suboxone and synthetic marijuana add to the inmate problems along with increased gang activity behind the prison walls.
Powers pointed to similar assaults and low morale at Rikers Island prison
in New York City prompting the hiring of another 2,000 corrections officers.